Sometimes it seems as if Pennsylvania Amish farmer Amos Miller is doomed to spend much of his adult life in food regulator hell.

After fighting the U.S. Department of Agriculture for half a dozen years, and finally coming to a settlement this past fall of a dispute over meat slaughtering and inspection, Miller was hit Wednesday by a surprise raid by agents from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, who removed coolers of food and put various products in a large cooler in an “under detention order,” meaning they can’t be removed or sold without regulator approval.

Amos Miller’s farm being inspected by agents from the U.S. FDA back in 2011,

Before the PA raid and USDA struggle, there were multi-year run-ins with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control over raw milk sales and alleged contamination.

According to PA ag officials, the raid Wednesday was related to allegations of tainted raw dairy products with connections to Miller showing up in New York state and Michigan during December. Here is how the Lancaster Patriot described the raid in part:

“The search was conducted by employees of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, with Pennsylvania State Police offering assistance as needed.

“A search warrant was issued on Jan. 3, 2024, by Magisterial District Judge B. Denise Commins and included an affidavit of probable cause completed by Sheri Morris, Acting Bureau Director of Food Safety with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

“The affidavit referenced incidents involving Miller’s products dating back to 2016, with the latest including the claim that on Dec. 19, 2023, Morris was informed ‘by the NY state Department of Health of a confirmed positive case of a foodborne pathogen (STEC – Shiga toxin producing E. Coli) in an underage individual” who had allegedly consumed products from Miller’s private buying club. On Dec. 28, 2023, Morris was allegedly notified about a similar incident in Michigan.’ ”

Miller’s law firm, Barnes Law, issued a statement that said, in part, “the state unlawfully obtained a search warrant, based on materially false statements in an affidavit by a high ranking state official in an agency with a known grievance against independent farmers like Amos, and, after the raid and finding no evidence of wrongdoing, then illegally ordered detained every item of food in one of Amos Miller’s coolers…” It’s unclear how Barnes Law knows the regulators found “no evidence of wrongdoing,” since presumably they need to carry out lab tests for e.coli O157:H7, and that will take some days.

In any event, it looks as if a new front has opened in Amos Miller’s regulatory odyssey. It could be the unfortunate price a farmer like Miller pays for selling farm-fresh dairy and meat products privately to buyers around the country–essentially operating in a gray area of food rules and regulation.