Why USDA and DOJ Won’t Accept Amos Miller’s Private-Food Peace Offering


Raw milk for pickup at a private-food drop site.

The U.S. Justice Department has set a May 19 deadline for Miller’s Organic Farm to accept inspection by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and is ignoring his peace offer.

If owner Amos Miller fails to allow inspection of his facilities by the deadline, the U.S. Justice Department “will be forced to initiate enforcement proceedings,” it said in a recent letter to the Pennsylvania farmer. While the Justice Department didn’t say exactly what it plans, presumably it will seek either an injunction of some kind, or a similar action, which would ostensibly restrict sales of Miller’s food and impose severe fines or raids for violation of a court order.

Miller responded last week by telephoning both DOJ and and USDA officials who have been in touch with him, and trying to defuse the situation. He offered to let a USDA agent inspect his facilities if the government agent signs his private membership agreement. “If he wants to become a member, I can take him through the facilities,” Miller told me.

The agent refused, without giving a reason. The agent’s refusal goes to the heart of the stakes in the government assault on Miller’s Farm. If a government agent signs on in that capacity, he could be seen as extending what amounts to official recognition of private food distribution. It seems clear that no government agent is prepared to do that, since the government’s clear intent is to use the highly questionable (or fraudulent, as some might say) CDC report of illnesses attributed to Miller’s as an excuse to do away with Miller’s, and threaten all similar private food distribution.

Regardless of which agency takes the legal lead, the government’s intent is to challenge Miller’s on the basis of safety rather than the legitimacy of private food distribution. Government lawyers know that it will be much easier to convince a judge to enforce an injunction or similar legal device based on fear-mongering than on the legal aspects of private membership associations.

For now, at least, the government seems inclined to avoid a raid or other aggressive action that would play badly in the media, since any agency could long ago have obtained a search warrant and forcibly carried out the examination of Miller’s facilities. That’s not to say a raid won’t happen after the May 19 deadline imposed by DOJ.

The concept behind private membership associations is difficult for many people to fully comprehend, so complete has been the dominance of a publicly regulated food system, and the propaganda promoting it as our sole “safe” food-distribution option. The big picture is that Amos Miller (and many other small farmers) sell in the private domain. That is, they sell directly to individuals who contract with the farmers via private membership agreements, and the amount of food distributed this way is expanding.

These farmers don’t have permits of any kind, and thus operate entirely outside the public retail/wholesale structure through which nearly all American (and Canadian) food is distributed. In the view of the farmers and their members, the private domain is protected by our constitution, and by a fair amount of case law, protecting freedom of association and the sanctity of contracts.

The FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration), CDFA (California Department of Food and Agriculture), PDA (Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture), USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture), and all the other alphabet regulatory agencies HATE the private domain, because they don’t have power and control there. This dispute is all about power and control, and not about safety, as much as the agencies argue otherwise. These agencies want to drag Amos Miller and other private distributors into the public domain, where the agencies can limit what is produced (no raw kefir, butter, cream, yogurt in the public domain, outside of California) and where individuals can obtain their food (no deliveries direct from the farm).

It should be understood that raw dairy producers like Organic Pastures Dairy Co. in California and The Family Cow in Pennsylvania and many other farms in states that regulate raw dairy have committed themselves fully to the public sector, by virtue of obtaining permits and thereby agreeing to regular inspections of their facilities by regulatory agents. And many of these producers have learned to adjust to that realm, and do fine.

For years, the alphabet agencies have held off, in significant measure, on going after Amos Miller and other private distributors, because they know what our constitution allows in the private sphere, and they don’t want a lengthy court case challenging efforts at control. They have one case in their favor—the one in which the FDA obtained a permanent injunction against Pennsylvania dairy farmer Daniel Allgyer in 2012; however, that was a decision by a single judge against a farmer without legal representation.  A Wisconsin jury’s decision in 2013 acquitting farmer Vernon Hershberger of violating the state’s dairy and retail laws by selling privately carries no official legal weight beyond his situation; however, it frightens federal and state regulators that a jury or judge could rule  against the government, and legitimize private food rights. Without clear case law on food in the private sphere, the regulators can keep everything muddy, and that’s what they’ve chosen to do.

So the alphabet agencies have latched onto the CDC study that blames Miller’s for causing two illnesses he may well have had nothing to with, as the basis for crushing our access to private food. These agencies see a huge opportunity in this manufactured crisis. Miller’s will no doubt need lots of support to defend itself, and to defend us all.

30 comments to Why USDA and DOJ Won’t Accept Amos Miller’s Private-Food Peace Offering

  • Wow! Interesting review of my friends situation! I have not spoken with Amos since this all came about but know him and our farm is about 20 minutes from his farm. Being of similar beliefs as Amos and his Amish community I appreciate his efforts to make peace as best he can. Hopefully FTCLDF is aware of this situation though and is on on standby as advice is needed.

    I spoke with Pete Kennedy today about a separate issue here in PA. Within the last several weeks the regional FDA agent for this area announced to the PDA and co-op inspectors that PA has been non-compliant to a law that’s been in the books for a number of years requiring ALL milk that leaves a Grade A approved vessel (milk bulk tank) MUST be have the standard antibiotic snap test performed on it and have a printed receipt to prove the test and a passing result. This agent informed this “training group” that it is to be enforced immediately and if they do not comply PA would be kicked out of the FMMO (or whatever it’s called – I’m not well versed in the right terminology for this stuff).
    It has been required for decades that milk moving off the farm into any kind of Grade A facilities always had this antibiotic test performed. But now under this new requirement even a non-Grade A facility now must do this testing if they’re pulling milk out of a Grade A bulk tank. Never mind that our organic milk never has antibiotics present – it’s still a national law.
    This is onerous as it applies to PA raw milk permitted facilities as well because they’re removing milk from a Grade A bulk tank. The immediate results has been several of the largest conventional co-ops in the area informing the about 1% of their membership holding a raw milk permit that they must quit raw milk or find another wholesale buyer for the balance of the milk they don’t sell as raw. I was informed of this by a PDA inspector earlier today.
    In conversation with Pete and other local farmers and organic industry reps today it does appear quite plainly that this is another sinister move by FDA to take a swing at the prominent raw milk industry here in PA. Yes, farmers can comply and some like The Family Cow for example would likely already have the needed testing equipment. But for the average raw milk licenses producer spending the approximately $1500 for testing equipment and then however much more to meet the lab lighting and environmental requirements is more than burdensome.
    We hope something good can come of this in the end but it sure looks like a problem right now. David I’d encourage you to look into this and report your findings on this blog.

    – Dwight – SpringWood Organic Farm

    • David Gumpert David Gumpert

      Dwight, I have heard similar about the milk testing situation. Basically, it seems that permitted raw dairies need to “pay to play”–get the required testing equipment and such. That’s the way it is in the land of regulated food (and other things). The regulators decide to add new requirements, and often the result is higher costs for producers.

      As for the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, it has been publicly silent on this case. I don’t know what it might be doing behind the scenes.

  • D. Smith D. Smith

    Quote from David’s article: ” . . . it frightens federal and state regulators that a jury or judge could rule against the government, and legitimize private food rights. Without clear case law on food in the private sphere, the regulators can keep everything muddy, and that’s what they’ve chosen to do.”

    Let them (the USDA & DOJ gruesome twosome) go ahead and stick a fork in the toaster here and see what happens. One of these days there will be a backlash against the gubmint by the “private citizens” and it won’t be pretty.

    • Ken Conrad Ken Conrad

      “One of these days there will be a backlash against the gubmint by the “private citizens” and it won’t be pretty.”

      D, Are you referring to the Donald Trump phenomenon?

      • D. Smith D. Smith

        @ Ken: well, no, not really anything to do with Donald Trump unless he, too, wants to be part of the revolution that is almost certain to come, and it will be bloody just like the first revolution. But it must come. There is simply no other way. I can’t imagine the elitists taking part; they always allow someone else to do their dirty work at the crossroads, but they’ll want to be there for the outcome.

        Yes sir, we’re back to fighting against slavery in its many forms.

        People can talk about Constitutional Rights til the cows come home, but our lawless gubmint ignores and tramples on the Constitution and a few other “outdated OLD papers” (as they have started calling them)such as the Bill of Rights. Those doods all seem to have adopted obozo’s phone and pen mantra. And “case law” isn’t going to solve a thing – it rarely has, and even if it could, it won’t. There is an uphill battle here because we’ve all heard of, and maybe even understand, jury nullification, but we will never get a chance to use it where it really matters and that’s concerning people’s rights, no matter what rights we’re talking about. The DOJ has a way of twisting things and inventing new words JUST at the precisely correct time so that none of those “solutions” will ever work. And make no mistake – people’s RIGHTS must come first, otherwise we have NO freedoms (and those freedoms are dwindling rapidly which is why change can’t be far down the road unless we all wish to be serfs).

        To tell you the truth, Ken, I don’t have much faith in any of the people running for elected offices these days whether it’s my county or my country (it’s just a scam anyway) so I am seriously hoping the upcoming backlash/change will involve plain old people like you and me – well, like me, for sure! I have a ___________ and I’m not afraid to use it. You can fill in the blank with whatever word you want, but rest assured I’m not talking about a feather.

        • Ken Conrad Ken Conrad

          D. What Donald Trump is offering the public is in a way, “revolutionary” and that is why I think he is garnering such support? His promise to make government more accountable and get rid of all the “lying, corruption and feeding at the trough” in Washington, although not unheard of during election campaigns, and the manner in which he is going about making such promises is certainly unconventional and goes against the grain of the establishment crowd and this I believe is appealing to many who view themselves as victims of that establishment. Whether or not he will be able to come good on his flamboyant promises remains to be seen.

          • D. Smith D. Smith

            @ Ken: As a matter of fact, I’m curious as to who is behind the Donald, because he didn’t just wake up one morning and decide to run for president. When I know the answer to that question, I will feel a bit more comfortable with him but until then, I’m not at ease with him or any of the other *stagnant nation* candidates. They all make unrealistic promises and Donald Trump is no exception.

            They all talk about the same issues with pretty much the same rhetoric and empty promises we’re so used to these days. And it’s also common knowledge that the president himself wields little real “power” unless he surrounds himself with good people, unlike Obozo who simply breaks the law and gets away with it.

            I read yesterday that trump is thinking about Newt Gingrich for his VP choice? OMG. And that was from a field of about six other names to which I uttered out loud “oh sweet Jesus . . . no!”. So unless he uses his God-given brain and picks knowledgeable people to help in the areas where he is weak, the american people are likely to gain little except more empty promises. He needs to select people like Andrew Napolitano, Rand Paul, Ron Paul, Doug Wead, Roger Stone and a few others who could actually help bring to fruition some of the promises we hear from him. Otherwise, his presidency won’t mean a thing – although I can’t even think that he could possibly be any worse than either of the Bushes, or either Clinton (and that’s just the most recent rascals in history who have all, in one way or another, dealt from the bottom of the deck). He will need to do more than just talk to convince me. He will have to show his support by placing decent people in his cabinet etc., before I’ll be showing any support at all. I wouldn’t support Hillbilly Hillary if she were holding up the Washington Bridge with one hand and drinking raw milk with the other. ;>

    • meakua

      judges and BAR liaryers are all part of the RICO corpoorate crime syndicate. There is no justice there. Learn common law as it’s the people’s remedy.



      http://michiganassembly.info/ From DE FACTO to de jure – the process for which you have been looking…

      • Gordon Watson

        MEAKUA …. be good enough to give us benighted types the details of one single action in which that “common law” quack-talk has ever prevailed… you know, simple details like = the name of the town in which the court was held ; the case file number ; the date of the hearing(s) ; the names of the participants ; the name of the judge … facts which can be verified : things such as would be easily available to an objective observer. Otherwise : that stuff is not just claptrap, it’s dangerously mis-leading.

  • This is exactly what’s happening with Sam Girod (http://www.davidgumpert.com/2783-2). He sells his salves via a private membership. Rather than go after him on that (because the FDA knows it would lose), they are going after him on so-called safety and labeling problems. PLUS they’ve tacked on his refusal to let them inspect the 2nd time they came (he refused because they lied the first time they inspected).

    The FDA is a lawless agency, as is the USDA, the EPA, the IRS… oh, stop me before I ruin my day.

    Thank you, David, for your relentless reporting 🙂 The world needs it more than ever.

  • Shana Milkie

    Yes, thank you David, for your continued reporting on the Amos Miller situation and all the issues you cover. Your site is a vital clearinghouse for food rights supporters!

    I fervently hope Amos Miller prevails in this latest attack on his operation.

  • brad

    Good to be kept up to date, David – thanks again.

    If anyone ever has to go to court (hah) one argument i’d put forth is that for the entire history of this nation until recently – this private consumption and sale was normal and totally legal. Therefore (and since we still have some going on) we have over 240 years of LEGAL PRECEDENT in the time of this country ALONE. (as of July 4)

    When you follow history back as far as you can, this private choice in growing and consuming has been the dominant (legal precedent, again-still) system FOR THE ENTIRE TIME-SPAN IN WHICH HUMANITY HAS BEEN.

    The Constitution. This is the HIGHEST LAW OF THE LAND and ALL other laws must conform to the constitution. This is the lawful mandate as to the legal set-up of the nation. The founding fathers stated that laws which are not compliant to the Constitution were “pretend” and “imaginary” laws, which were to be DISOBEYED! This is the actual, literal instruction from those who wrote those laws, and as such are NOT open to waffling, legal wrangling, and revision. If a law is non-compliant with the Constitution – it is null and void from the moment of signing.

    Does the govt have a big stick? Of course. Will these moral retards smack good people with aforementioned stick? If they can, they will surely do so until “compliance” to the will of the wealthy is maintained. This is what it all boils down to – ALL consumption is to be forced to feed the monster of the predatory, parasitic, wealthy class – who own control of all corporations.

    The reason that this aspect is CRITICAL TO UNDERSTANDING is because this is Root Cause Analysis. We have to be aware of the foundational problem causing the obvious problems – and those deeper causes may be hidden. If you don’t stop the root causation, you may as well regulate prices of food in a Shanghai minerals market for all the relevance we will find here in our food system.

    We must detach the wealthy from their efforts to force and mandate all $$$ to flow through them. Yes, it’s psychopathic. Yes, it’s infantile. Yes, their incredible amount of wealth is obviously not satisfying them since they insist that they need it ALL – so in essence they again prove their incredible level of imbecility – but that’s the way they roll.

  • Joseph Heckman

    In the long view, Natural selection favored raw milk drinkers:
    Archaeology: The milk revolution

    When a single genetic mutation first let ancient Europeans drink milk, it set the stage for a continental upheaval.

    Once the LP allele appeared, it offered a major selective advantage. In a 2004 study5, researchers estimated that people with the mutation would have produced up to 19% more fertile offspring than those who lacked it. The researchers called that degree of selection “among the strongest yet seen for any gene in the genome”.

    The LeCHE researchers are still puzzling out exactly why the ability to consume milk offered such an advantage in these regions. Thomas suggests that, as people moved north, milk would have been a hedge against famine. Dairy products — which could be stored for longer in colder climes — provided rich sources of calories that were independent of growing seasons or bad harvests.

    • Lynn_M Lynn_M

      I appreciate all the articles you have linked to here.

      Some people question whether humans should be drinking milk, particularly other species’ milk, beyond childhood. It seems to me that the selective advantage of the LP allele suggests that milk drinking, at least raw milk from pastured cows, does have health benefits.

      • D. Smith D. Smith

        @ Lynn M: I know some people say that humans above a certain age shouldn’t drink, or “don’t need” cow milk. Well, maybe we don’t need it in their view, but what would I put on my baked oatmeal or use to make my scrambled eggs and for myriad other things I use it for? (Of course, now they’re questioning whether or not scrambling eggs is *healthy or not*)- good grief. Is there anything in this world someone isn’t questioning?

        I also think those who promote the idea of no milk past a certain age fail to realize that it’s not just cow milk, it’s also cream and butter and buttermilk and clabbered milk and sour cream and cream cheese and ricotta cheese and all the other cheeses that come from this one simple nature-given product. So, in my opinion others can do whatever they wish and personally I don’t care what they think, but for me and mine, we’ll continue to need milk in all it’s forms and by-products. They can use canned coconut milk, or they can use almond milk from a wax carton. Those things do not appeal to me given a choice between fresh milk and boxed/canned items containing possibly toxic stuff in the container AND the product itself. There’s not even a question in my mind about which I prefer. After literally growing up on the raw stuff, I can’t imagine being satisfied or nourished from something made in a factory that comes in a wax-lined box. Yuk.

        If fresh raw milk wasn’t good for people, why was/is it used in hospitals as a health food? You won’t get an answer to that question from any gubmint agency nor will you get an answer from a vegan. Be glad they don’t respond because they don’t have a clue and use lies to support their position.

        Yes, thank you Joseph for the articles you’ve posted.

      • realist

        “Some people question whether humans should be drinking milk, particularly other species’ milk, beyond childhood.”

        These people are also militant vegans.

        EVERY carnivore and omnivore species that hunts drinks the milk from its lactating prey. And guess what – the stomach contents of the infants that they eat is essentially cheese! Remind them of where rennet comes from.

        Humans have just become more efficient at it – unlike lions etc., we don’t have to kill a lactating antelope and eat its udder in order to get fresh milk.

  • D. Smith D. Smith

    Well, tomorrow is the day. Anyone have updates as to what is going on?

  • Gordon S Watson

    the notion of “natural selection” after genetic mutation, is bunk. Entropy means that = absent intelligent design, and intelligent input to a system, organization decreases over time. The sudden appearance of the white race in Europe, about 3700 years ago, is proveable to anyone with the intellectual integrity to accept that the archeologica evidence conforms perfectly with the Biblical account of the dispersion of ancient Israelite tribes, from Palestine.
    The more we find out about the human genome, we realize how important a few differnet strands of DNA are, distinguishing racial characteristics.
    the LaLeche league will keep on puzzling-out ‘why the ability to consume milk offered such an advantage’, because they’re locked-in to political correctness, which pre-cludes the scientific evidence that human traits AND conduct of communities, is ( to some extent) hard -wired in our genes.
    Confer with the Bible : where our God explains “I have given you goats’ milk enough for your maidens” … the very prerequisite for our women to be fully sufficient for carrying a baby to term.

  • Joseph Heckman

    1910 Flower Hospital Changes Milk

    NEW YORK The use of pasteurized milk has been discontinued at Flower Hospital and its affiliated school by order of its director, Dr. Royal S. Copeland. Only pure raw milk is now consumed in these institutions. This change has been made after careful consultation among the medical faculty and is in line with the advanced views of the leading experts on nutrition both here and abroad.

  • California Girl

    I think I’ll go buy 2 bottles of raw milk today. I didn’t know it was so controversial to drink raw milk. I’m feeling notorious today. I guess it doesn’t kill enough brain cells like alcohol or aspartame. -Living dangerously

  • meakua

    The farm is Miller’s PRIVATE property. Unless someone was harmed, public servants’ job is to protect and secure private property. If they transgress, sue them all, including the judge in their private capacity, in a common law court. This is the only remedy. Anything else is extortion, a crime, RICO

    In common law (protected by 7th amendment), there must be a wo/man filing a claim of harm or injury for there to be a crime. Miller has now been harmed and injured and can file a common law claim, to be ajudicated by the people (common law grand jury). Research common law. Youtube karl lentz. Learn your rights or be enslaved!


    http://michiganassembly.info/ From DE FACTO to de jure – the process for which you have been looking…


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