Amish Salve-maker in Jail, Facing Federal Prison

Events occurring and how they relate/affect Anabaptist faith and culture.
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mike
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Amish Salve-maker in Jail, Facing Federal Prison

Postby mike » Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:12 pm

http://www.wkyt.com/content/news/WKYT-I ... 15635.html

I noticed this story before, but I just took the time to read it for the first time. A picture on one of the articles rang a bell. Sure enough, I'm selling this chickweed salve in my store.

BATH COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - Since October of 2015 Amish farmer, Samuel Girod has been facing a 12-count federal indictment. The charges against him include conspiracy, distributing misbranded drugs, and threatening a witness.


Girod's troubles started back in 2013 when someone reported his products to the state health department in Missouri.

A federal judge in Missouri put an injunction in place, banning Girod from making some of his products until he met certain conditions. Part of those conditions were inspections of the property where Girod made his products which is where Kentucky comes into play.

Girod's makes his products on the family farm along Satterfield Lane in Bath County. The farm is home to Girod and his wife, along with their 12 children and 25 grandchildren.

Due to their Amish religious beliefs, no one in the Girod family was able to talk with WKYT on camera. However, they told us they just want to see the leader of their family freed.

"I think everybody in the community has heard about it," said Bath County resident, Suza Moody.

Many in Bath County are confused as one of their own sits in jail.

"I can't even figure out what he has done wrong," said Moody. "They live at the foot of the cross and the thought of one of them intentionally doing something wrong is outrageous."

"They are just devastated. I mean when they brought him out in handcuffs. It was awful," said family friend, Sally Oh.

One product at the center of the lengthy indictment is Girod's Chickweed salve.

"Its ingredients include rosemary, beeswax, olive oil," explained Oh.

Throughout the accusations, the FDA often took up an issue with the labeling of the products.

"It said 'Chickweed Salve' up top, then on down said 'Cures Cancer.' Which for some people it did, but he can't say that. So he changed it to say 'Healing Chickweed,' but they said no you can't say healing. So now it just says 'Original Chickweed,'" explained Oh.

Moody said, "I mean do you go to jail because you've messed up a label on a product? I thought you went to jail because you did something bad. I mean he mislabeled something? I doubt he knew any better."

The FDA says Girod also passed out pamphlets touting his products' effectiveness in treating various conditions. It is because of those claims that under the federal food, drug, and cosmetic act the FDA says the products are defined as a drug even though multiple tests confirm the products do not contain drugs.

The FDA requires anyone who manufactures a defined drug to register their facility with them. The Girod farm is not registered.

"Sam has made this product for over 20 years, and he has never hurt anyone," said Oh.

However, the indictment says this is much more than a labeling mistake. The allegations claim the product known as TO-MOR-GONE, which is said to be "very good at removing tumors," used a bloodroot plant extract that has a corrosive effect on human skin.

Prosecutors pointed out that back in 2013, a federal judge in Missouri banned Girod from distributing these products until he met certain conditions. Those conditions include allowing the FDA to inspect where Girod made the goods. According to the indictment, the FDA says their officers were prevented from conducting an inspection at the farm. They also say Girod continued to sell the products without letting his customers know they were the subject of a court-ordered injunction.

"I feel like jail is for criminals. He might have done something wrong by the word of the law, but he is a far cry from a criminal," said Moody.

Since the 2015 indictment, Girod who fired his appointed attorney and is now representing himself has been trying hard to clear his name. The Amish farmer filed a motion to dismiss his case, citing a lack of due process, lack of standing, and lack of jurisdiction. A judge denied the motion and set a status conference back in August.

"Sam is a very literal person. This hearing didn't say, 'Hey Sam you've got to be here.' It just said there's a status hearing in your case and he thought he didn't have to show up. It was a mistake on his part, but because he is not an attorney, he just doesn't understand," explained Oh.

A warrant then issued for Girod's arrest.

The Bath County Sheriff wrote a letter to those involved, saying he is concerned about the "ongoing ruthless and relentless attack against one of his constituents." The letter went on to say Girod was in the protective custody of his office.

Girod was considered a fugitive for about five months before being arrested at his farm in early January. He is now in jail without bond awaiting his trial scheduled for late February.

"It is like a freight train out of control, there is no stopping it," said Oh.

She says she believes the bottom line in this all is that "They are targeting the Amish because they don't threaten. They don't fight back, and they don't like lawyers."

The U.S. Attorney's Office is saying that is far from the truth and that their primary and sole concern is protecting potential consumers. The office released the following statement:

"In cases like this, our interests are ensuring that drugs that are made available to the public are safe for consumption and ensuring the integrity of the judicial process.”
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Remember the prisoners, as though you were in prison with them, and the mistreated, as though you yourselves were suffering bodily. -Heb. 13:3

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mike
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Re: Amish Salve-maker in Jail, Facing Federal Prison

Postby mike » Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:16 pm

We used to sell the TO-MOR-Gone salve also. I always wondered what on earth that meant. Apparently at one time it was marketed as a way to get rid of tumors.
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Remember the prisoners, as though you were in prison with them, and the mistreated, as though you yourselves were suffering bodily. -Heb. 13:3

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Re: Amish Salve-maker in Jail, Facing Federal Prison

Postby KingdomBuilder » Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:53 pm

I read this post cause I thought the title was "Amish Slave-maker"...
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Re: Amish Salve-maker in Jail, Facing Federal Prison

Postby RZehr » Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:20 pm

We plain people need to get over ourselves and comply with regulations. We might dress like its still 1950 or 1850, but come on, we can't run our businesses like in the past. No one can. Governmental requirements are 2017. I understand quite well the onerousness of bureaucracy and all that, especially for small business. And I agree the court system is ridiculous and at times may target someone unfairly. But at the very least, if/when you get in trouble for noncompliance, lets admit it, pay the fine, get in compliance and move on. We Christians have God given rights that the government has not jurisdiction over, but this isn't one of them. I think these kinds of issues bring shame to the name of Christ, not glory.

End of rant.
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Re: Amish Salve-maker in Jail, Facing Federal Prison

Postby KingdomBuilder » Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:31 pm

Well obviously saying your lotion "cures cancer" is a bogus claim and was likely coined up with sales/ profit in mind. Not a good witness, and it may even be considered downright sinful.
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Re: Amish Salve-maker in Jail, Facing Federal Prison

Postby lesterb » Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:05 pm

KingdomBuilder wrote:Well obviously saying your lotion "cures cancer" is a bogus claim and was likely coined up with sales/ profit in mind. Not a good witness, and it may even be considered downright sinful.

Oh I don't know. Some people like that honestly think they can cure cancer, etc. The problem is more that they are naive than sinful.
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Re: Amish Salve-maker in Jail, Facing Federal Prison

Postby Josh » Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:30 pm

I think truth objectively exists, so we can make a statement like "drinking bottled raw petroleum doesn't cure a variety of illnesses". And as Christians the truth is important to us.

Submission to the government is important too. So if they tell me something unreasonable, I do my best to submit to it, just like we expect a wife to do for her husband.

For some reason some of us plain folk are really good at the latter part (wives submitting to husbands) but really bad at the former part (submitting to the government when doing so gets in the way of profit).
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Re: Amish Salve-maker in Jail, Facing Federal Prison

Postby Wade » Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:47 pm

KingdomBuilder wrote:Well obviously saying your lotion "cures cancer" is a bogus claim and was likely coined up with sales/ profit in mind. Not a good witness, and it may even be considered downright sinful.


I have met people that claim they have had cancer and left the country in order to receive treatment that was bogus according to US/Canada standards. They are cancer free now...

In fact a few years ago I was contacted by a man because he heard I had something that could help him. Water purification drops and citric acid. He had lung cancer and they were going to cut out part of his lungs. He was a coal miner for 40 years. I gave him for free the liquids and information. He phoned me a month later and asked me to come over to his house. When I showed up he said that he could kiss me. When they went to do his biopsy before surgery all the fluid had drained from his lungs and the doctors said that that should have never happened and they can't understand it and that he didn't need a surgery any longer. He said he knew what it was that cured him... I just said I was glad he better.

The FDA has the finally say and it costs millions to get the tests done.

Whether others are doing right or wrong doesn't excuse us, as it is biblical to obey regulations.

Because I made no claims and gave it away water purification drops for free I didn't do anything illegal. However, if more people would be open to realize that somethings can be cured for pennies their would be a lot of big business loosing lots of money...

And there is a lot of good keeping snake oils at bay with these regulations too. But not all natural remedies are snake oils...


I have said before elsewhere that I have drank raw milk and it doesn't cause the grieve to my digestive system the pasteurized milk does but since it is against the law to sell raw milk; I would rather go to heaven with a stomach ache rather than go to hell feeling good.
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Re: Amish Salve-maker in Jail, Facing Federal Prison

Postby KingdomBuilder » Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:13 pm

Wade wrote:And there is a lot of good keeping snake oils at bay with these regulations too. But not all natural remedies are snake oils...


Surely not. But olive oil, beeswax, and Rosemary curing cancer through a topical application? That's not snake oil- that's delusion.
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Re: Amish Salve-maker in Jail, Facing Federal Prison

Postby temporal1 » Fri Feb 17, 2017 5:09 am

possibly? ..
the family-community is traumatized because their leader is jailed .. understandable.
but, the basic problem is that the court system doesn't like people representing themselves.

in this case, this caused a hearing to be missed (the courts do not tolerate missed hearings.)
:arrow: the missed hearing resulted in jail time (?)
then, there are the remaining matters of registering the farm, inspecting the farm, and acceptable labels.

in other cases on this forum, different Amish folks have employed, or were assigned, attorneys, and, in this case, this group had an attorney but dismissed him/her (?)

self-representation in courts of law does not end well. defendents are formally warned and offered representation. the courts really want lawyers in courtrooms (the bar association is powerful.)

any attorney would have warned them to register their business, allow inspections, and, to not miss that hearing.

i appreciate the local sheriff's words, he is trying to kindly protect Girod.
but, possibly, this problem can be remedied without a lot of further problem. it doesn't read as though any new law is involved (?) .. it's a matter of not understanding existing legal language.
i hope so.

there are plenty of potions on pharmacy shelves (and other places) for sale that harm or do nothing, and plenty that require prescriptions .. these (snake oils) are allowed, but are first registered, allow inspections, and labeled according to legal requirements.

i.e., government takes their piece of the pie, then waves their magic wand ..

i guess. :-|
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