- First, please sign and share the petition here: bit.ly/freeamishsam.
- This post explains the Girod indictment.
- Here are all the court documents on Sam’s entire case. There are two folders: the 1st is for the labeling, the 2nd is for the criminal indictment.
- Feel free to copy any of the articles about Sam and use HOWEVER you like: to hand out, to email, to republish on your blog — just get the word out.
- For a condensed version of Sam’s story, click here.
- Click here to download a printed petition for anyone not online, then email or mail to me here.
Let’s be clear about a couple of pertinent facts:
1. The FDA made up arbitrary rules, then accused Sam of breaking those rules.
2. There are no victims. Samuel Girod has hurt no one.
3. FDA-approved pharmaceutical drugs kill 1 person every 19 minutes. Merck’s FDA-approved Vioxx killed over 68,000 people. Nobody in Big Pharma goes to jail. They pay out billions in fines (after making billions in profits.) No companies close, nobody goes to jail. Nobody. Even after killing and harming 100s of thousands of people.
4. Sam Girod and his products have hurt no one.
The Story of the FDA v Samuel Girod
Samuel Girod and his family have been making and selling 3 all-natural herbal products for nearly 20 years. In all those years, one woman had a bad reaction to a salve (which Sam made right and the woman was fine).
No one has ever been harmed by the products, the Girods have pages of testimonials and scores of repeat customers.
The 3 products are: Original Chickweed, a beeswax, essential oils and olive oil salve; Sine-Eze, a blend of essential oils; and TO-MOR-GONE, an herbal bloodroot product in a base of beeswax and olive oil aka “black salve”.
All of these products are currently ALSO made and sold online worldwide (including on Amazon) by other people using these same basic ingredients. The recipes are online as well, you can make them in your kitchen.
HOW IT STARTED
Sixteen years ago, in 2001, an FDA agent visited Sam at his home and informed Sam that he could not claim his products could help skin cancer. At that time, the chickweed salve label said: “[g]ood for all skin disorders. Skin cancer, cuts, burns, draws, and poison ivy.”
According to the FDA, when you make a medical claim about a product, that means the product is a “drug”. Therefore you have to spend millions of dollars and do years of testing (or buy a shortcut) to prove the claim.
Sam had to change his label or do the testing.
So Sam changed the label, removing the reference to skin cancer.
He asked the agent to get back to him on what label would be acceptable to the FDA. The agent said she would within three weeks but she never did.
The label now said, “[g]ood for skin disorders. Dry skin, cuts, burns, draws, and poison ivy.” No skin cancer reference.
Between 2001 and 2004, Sam was visited several times by FDA agents. When he asked the agents what was acceptable on the label, none would give an answer.
At one point during the labeling discussions, FDA agents told Sam to contact a man named Mark at the FDA office who would help him develop a good label. When Sam contacted him, Mark said the FDA was not in the consulting business and hung up.
Sam did not receive any further communication from the FDA until 2012.
In Jan 2012, someone called the FDA and reported that a store in Missouri was selling Chickweed Healing Salve and that medical claims were being made.
Turns out the “claims” were customer testimonials — in customers’ own words — in nearby brochures!
The FDA confiscated the products from the store and opened #Case 4:12-cv-00362-GAF on Sam.
This is the complaint: http://bit.ly/27-on-120928-Girod-Amended-Complaint
This is Sam’s answer to the complaint: http://bit.ly/37-on-121228-Girod-Answer-Defenses
In fact, here are all the court documents on Sam’s entire case. There are two folders: the 1st is for the labeling, the 2nd is for the criminal indictment.
The FDA has jurisdiction over food and drugs sold across state lines. Since Sam’s products were sold across state lines and, according to FDA definitions, the products were drugs since medical claims had been made, the FDA claimed jurisdiction.
However, the FDA tested all of Sam’s products and confirmed that they contain no drugs. Zero. The FDA’s own testing confirmed that Sam’s products are made using all-natural non-drug ingredients.
Seems like FDA’s jurisdiction would have ended right then and there, right? Apparently not. At least according to the FDA.
The eventual indictment mentions COMFREY and how dangerous it is. Well, Sam’s comfrey was grown on his property. It was also tested and found to be perfectly safe with no pyrrolizidine alkaloids. Comfrey salve is sold everywhere, including Amazon: http://bit.ly/comfrey-salve
The FDA takes particular exception to TO-MOR-GONE, the black salve that Sam makes. They may not like it, but it’s perfectly legal, all natural, not a drug, used by millions of people worldwide, sold on Amazon: http://bit.ly/bloodroot-products
There are also studies on PubMed and other places that back up its cancer-curing properties: https://thetruthaboutcancer.com/bloodroot/
I’ve used it myself. Works beautifully to remove skin cancers, warts, moles, etc. I bought mine from altcancer.com formulated by Greg Caton, the first guy the FDA put in jail for selling black salve years ago.
HOW THE INDICTMENT CAME ABOUT
In 2013, the FDA claimed to have a TO-MOR-GONE victim in MO.
In early 2013, armed FDA agents came to Sam’s property and demanded access for a search. Wanting to be cooperative, Sam said yes on one condition: that the agents not take photos. The Amish are religiously opposed to photos.
The agents agreed not to take photos, got on the property, whipped out their cameras and took photos of everything!
In fall of 2013, Sam had to go in front of a federal judge in MO because of the brochures with customer testimonials — er, sorry, “medical claims” — and the alleged victim.
Not only was the victim not produced at the hearing (and never identified), it turns out the black salve he claims hurt him wasn’t even Sam’s. Yes, you read that right: not even Sam’s salve.
No matter. The judge put an injunction on Sam with 3 conditions:
1. Sam could not make or sell any of his products until the labeling infraction was cleared up;
2. he could no longer sell any products with bloodroot in it, and
3. he had to allow the FDA to inspect his property FOR FIVE YEARS.
Sam complied with 1 and 2: he stopped selling the bloodroot salve and stopped using the brochures. He was not so compliant with the searches.
In late 2013, after the injunction, FDA agents came to Sam’s house with a Bath County Sheriff’s deputy to do a second search. Sam informed them that nothing had changed since the first search 7 months prior, and that, since they had lied and taken photos during the first search, they were not welcome to do a second.
Indeed, the Sheriff’s deputy (who witnessed the entire event) told the agents to leave the property.
These three product sales are how Sam’s family made their living. They had been denied this right via an arbitrary regulation made up by a federal agency with no true jurisdiction in the states — and with NO VICTIM.
The FDA essentially took away their income, causing serious financial and emotional distress to the family WITH NO PROOF OF HARM TO ANYONE.
Bear in mind that Sam had not been accused of any crime at that point. It was still just a labeling infraction. The FDA put an end to the Girod’s livelihood over a label.
Not only that, FDA agents were going into mom and pop stores in other states and confiscating Sam’s products from store shelves, causing financial harm to those families, too.
So, despite the injunction, the Girods started selling their products again. Remember, the FDA had already determined that these WERE NOT DRUGS.
PRIVATE MEMBERSHIP CLUB
Then, in 2014, Sam started a legal private membership club and sold his products to members via that framework. Perfectly legal.
Before anyone can buy products or services from a private membership association, you must sign a contract stating that you understand the association rules and agree to abide by them.
These associations are put in place by farmers, clubs, doctors, and all manner of business people. Raw milk farmers have operated this way for years. I’m a member of four now: one for raw milk, one for other farm foods, one for health products and one for health services.
The FDA doesn’t like these associations because they are outside FDA jurisdiction. However, they are legal and protected under the Constitution’s contract clause: humans have the right to contract with one another and the government may not interfere in a contract.
Because Sam was selling his products again and had refused the 2nd search, the FDA started criminal proceedings against him.
To see the Girod indictment, click here.
Counts 1 and 2 stem from the refused search. The FDA was not happy about having been refused entry. The FDA accused Sam and his family of physically threatening the agents and impeding their “lawful” investigation of his property.
Completely ridiculous and a flat out lie on the part of the agents. The lie was proven in court yesterday when the deputy said there were no threats or violence on the part of the Amish.
One of the foundations of the Amish way of life is non-violence and non-resistance. For agents of the FDA to accuse an entire Amish community of violence and resistance is beyond belief.
Counts 3-11 accuse Sam of selling his product despite the injunction. Remember, the FDA had already proven that these products were not drugs. So how did FDA have jurisdiction to pursue this?
Oh right: customer testimonials in brochures which constitute “medical claims” which makes these products “drugs” (even though FDA’s own tests had proven they were NOT drugs)…
Anybody else feel like you stepped through the looking glass?
Count 12 accuses Sam of witness tampering. That witness turned out to be Mary Miller, a store-owner who had all of Sam’s products confiscated by the FDA — agents just walked in to a number of stores around the country and basically stole all of Sam’s products off the shelves (because of a labeling infraction on a harmless herbal salve).
Sam contacted this store owner and made it right, apologizing and reimbursing her for the stolen product. Apparently the FDA is calling Sam’s reimbursement “witness tampering.”
WHY SAM IS IN JAIL NOW
Last July, the judge in Sam’s case, Judge Reeves, set a status hearing. Sam didn’t think he had to appear — his name was not on the notice and there was no demand to appear so he didn’t. When Sam didn’t show, Judge Reeves issued a warrant for Sam’s arrest. Sam should have turned himself in but he thought there was a stay in his case and that the warrant was not properly issued.
Five months later, the U.S. marshalls arrested Sam on the road in front of his house. They are now claiming that Sam was a fugitive for five months and went out of his way to avoid arrest.
Now, Sam never moved or hid or left the county. The marshalls could have arrested Sam at any time… they have helicopters and drones and all that. To claim that Sam actively avoided arrest for 5 months is ridiculous. They just waited 5 months to make Sam look like a real criminal.
SHERIFF REQUIRED AT ANY FEDERAL ARREST
In order for the feds to arrest anyone in a state for any charge other than treason, counterfeiting or piracy, the feds MUST have a Sheriff’s deputy present. Sheriff Snedeger had written a letter to the feds saying they were not to arrest Sam in Bath County because Sam was under the Sheriff’s protection.
AFAIK, there was no Sheriff’s deputy at Sam’s arrest.
WHY SAM DOESN’T HAVE A LAWYER
As I mentioned before, the Amish are not only non-violent, they are non-resistant. They don’t fight back. Ever. If they had a rifle (which they have for hunting) and you threatened to shoot them, you’d be able to. They would not shoot you in self-defense.
I wonder why the armed FDA agents who were refused the search and testified that they were afraid for their very lives didn’t just shoot the Amish guys threatening them? If I felt threatened and I had a weapon… wouldn’t I have at least waved it around? Anyway.
The Amish also don’t trust attorneys. Imagine that. Most Amish do not use attorneys in any situation. Also, the community decides this, not just the defendant. The community decided that Sam would not use an attorney, which should be no surprise.
Many of us in the farm food freedom movement believe this reluctance to use attorneys is why the feds go after the Amish: easy victory. And, while these cases don’t set precedent, they scare the crap out of everyone else who would dare to defy FDA regulations.
If Sam broke any rules, they were rules manufactured out of thin air by a lawless, out of control federal agency. Otherwise, Sam Girod is an innocent man. He’s committed no crime, hurt no other human being. This is a clear case of a bureaucracy creating crimes out of thin air.
Sam is a good, kind, peaceful man, devoted to his faith, his family and his community. Just spend 10 minutes talking to him, it’s very clear. The FDA has created a criminal out of a good and peaceful man. His family and everyone familiar with the case are totally bewildered that such a thing is happening in America.
Sending Sam to jail for even one minute is unacceptable.
Here is Day 3 (final day) of the trial. Sentencing is 6/16/17, Sam is in prison till then.
If you pray, please pray for justice for Sam Girod. Start a prayer chain. Put his name in the prayer basket at church. Light a candle.
If you don’t pray, then intend justice for Sam, send healing energy, surround him with light. However you speak with the universe, include justice for Sam.
If you have questions, put them in the comments. Thank you for paying attention!