An Amish organic farmer is facing a hefty fine and a prison term for the simple crime of producing clean meat.
Amos Miller runs a holistically managed farm in Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania, where he breeds cows, chickens and pigs. The animals in his century-old farm are bred without the use of chemicals and medications mandated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). According to Miller, he raises his animals in the way he believes God intended them to be raised – in accordance with nature.
However, a federal judge ordered the Amish farmer to cease and desist all sales of his organic meat. This same magistrate also ordered Miller to pay $250,000 for “contempt of court” last summer. He added that the farmer needs to pay an initial $50,000 as a “good faith” payment to avoid jail.
To make matters worse, armed U.S. marshals raided his property, farm store and freezers at the behest of the federal judge. They took an inventory of all his meat to ensure he will no longer be able to sell or slaughter any more animals.
Miller, who runs a private members-only food distribution network, alleged that the federal government is prosecuting him for practicing his religious freedom in the way he raises and prepares food. “Our members don’t want any of that. They want fresh, raw meat with no additives. Our members want it straight from the farm with no preservatives on it.”
The members of Miller’s private food club agree, saying they do not like their grass-fed meat laced with chemical preservatives mandated by the USDA. Numbering around 400, they have also signed contracts that state their awareness of the meat not being processed in USDA-inspected plants or treated with preservatives.
USDA prefers people eat chemicals instead of clean foods
According to Miller, all USDA-licensed processing plants are required to treat all meat – regardless of whether they are organic or grass-fed – with synthetic preservatives.
“Often, they use citric acid, which you’d think comes from oranges or lemons. But it’s a modified substance made from corn, and they don’t even have to label it on the meat,” he explained.
A customer who handles the Amish farmer’s website and other modern communications concurred with him, saying: “The USDA processing plants require the meat to be treated with a chemical cocktail of citric acid, lactic acid and peracetic acid. The peracetic acid is toxic, and the citric and lactic [acids] are GMO.”
Anke, another customer of Miller, pointed out that the lactic acid used to preserve meat is not a natural version. “It’s not lactic acid coming from the fermentation of sauerkraut. It’s all created in a dish in a lab,” she said. “It’s a synthetic sterilizer that causes many health problems.”
According to Miller, he and other small farmers would still be nearly impossible to make a profit – thanks to giant meat companies acting as middlemen. Furthermore, the exorbitant costs of obtaining a USDA meat processing license make matters worse.
The Amish farmer lamented: “The rules and regulations are such that you have to get into [a] $100,000 debt before you ever sell your first pound of meat – and the market’s not guaranteed. There’s no option for farmers to start small, and add on and buy equipment as they can.”
“[We have to] either get a license or go out of business. Our position is we’d rather go out of business because their rules and regulations are too hard to follow. We have many small farmers in our area that would love to be farmers, but the business has gotten so monopolized.”
Anke agreed with Miller, saying that ultimately, “it’s all about profit and money.” She added: “They want a monopoly on beef, pork and poultry. They are basically saying ‘Unless you go through federal inspection, you are making people sick.’”