Samuel Girod Sentenced To 6 Years In Prison

Amish salve-maker Samuel Girod received his sentence Friday:

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) – A federal judge sentenced a Bath County Amish farmer to six years in prison on Friday morning.

A federal jury handed down guilty verdicts against Samuel Girod in March for misbranding products.

After serving six years, Girod will have three years of supervised release. He must also refrain from producing and manufacturing products during that time. That judge said Girod exhibited continuous and blatant disregard for the law.

The public response was strong:

Outraged supporters of the rural Kentucky farmer pledged to seek a pardon from President Donald Trump.

Close to 100 supporters of Girod, including many in the Amish community, waited outside the federal courthouse for the results of the sentencing. Former Arizona Sheriff Richard Mack was among them.

“This is absolutely insanity,” Mack said. “What is the number one thing that government is supposed to be doing in our country? Preventing injustice. And they’re the ones promoting it today. This is the FDA and Judge Reeves creating a criminal out of an innocent Amish farmer.”

In this video an Amishman comments on the verdict (unavailable):

A summary of Girod’s offenses (link removed):

At his trial in March of this year, the evidence established that Girod had been manufacturing and selling homemade products to businesses in numerous states and that the products did not comply with FDA regulations. Specifically, one of his products was dangerous when used in the manner recommended and all three were advertised in a way that did not comply with the law.

In 2013, a federal judge in Missouri ordered Girod to stop manufacturing and selling his products, until his labeling and advertisement of the products met FDA regulations. Despite the court order, Girod continued to manufacture these products and sell them in Indiana, Wisconsin and Illinois, marketing them in the exact same manner as he had before the court order.

The evidence further established that, as part of the 2013 order, the judge required inspections of Girod’s facility in Bath County, to ensure his compliance with the order. In November 2013, two FDA Consumer Safety Officers attempted to conduct the court-ordered inspection of Girod’s facility, but they were prevented from conducting the inspection by Girod and others on his property. Then, after the criminal case against him began, Girod tampered with a witness, failed to appear for court proceedings, and was a fugitive for several months.

Girod may file an appeal, but it’s not known if he intends to do so.

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    1. Jeff Baker

      Time to disolve the Federal government and start over again

      It is way past the time to get rid of the corrupt FDA and the Big Business corporations that control it. While were at it we need to clean the slate of the entire federal government- congressman-senators-president and the judicial system.

      The Federal government was never meant to be the beast it has become. Simply put it was to be volunteers from each state(where the power is supposed to be)that left their farms and businesses temporarily to help with disputes and conflicts between the states and especially foreign governments.

      Now the federal government has become the world bully that controls and taxes their citizens worse than the England did prior to the revolution of 1776.

      1. Cathy


        Murderers get off with less time than this as well as a variety of others. Maybe they need a “sanctuary” city for the Amish. I use herbal products and have found them to be much safer than what pharmaceutical companies pay off government officials to get on the market before proper testing is done.

    2. elaine

      Justice Prevails

      The Amish are not dumb people.

      When a consumer buys a product with a label that describes what you can expect from that product to do for you, that’s what you expect it to do. Simple concept.
      After you have used the product and realize that it didn’t do nor will it ever do what it stated it would do, you realize that;

      1. You wasted your money.
      2. Somebody lied to you.
      3. Who do I contact so that this doesn’t happen to other people.

      If the public is not protected by laws that apply to all people, regardless of religious affiliation, this country would/will be in chaos.

      1. Debbie H

        Totally agree. Just because some big businesses pay off the FDA doesn’t mean we have to do away with it. How fast are we to sue when we find out some company lied to us and/or caused harm. Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Besides he acted like a criminal by not obeying other laws and hiding from the law. This country was built on working to change unjust laws not breaking the law. I for one am glad the FDA finds harmful ingredients and false claims.

      2. JM



        1. I can’t understand why so many people decry consumer protection laws. At the same time, a lot of those same people decry being scammed and flat out robbed, which are ACTUAL injustices. What is government for, if not to protect and serve its PEOPLE?

        2. I’m getting pretty sick of the attitude that being Amish (or white or Christian) means being above the law. If an inner city black person committed crimes into a similar level, these same people would be condemning him. Over the last few years, I even heard people justify murder by police because a black person was suspected of (not even necessarily GUILTY of) committing a petty crime. (“White cop killed another black boy in the city? Well, the kid was suspected of robbing a store so he had it coming.”) They look with suspicion and disapproval on strict Muslims, Jews etc, but put protestant Christians on a saint-like pedestal (“They live their faith!”). They loudly claim to cherish American values like equality, justice, and freedom, but only if it applies to them. They even use those values as an excuse to try to take them from others (e.g., “Discrimination against blacks and gays should be allowed because of religious liberty”). That’s not how rights work. Your rights end when they trample on someone else’s. If you wonder why some of us are “so angry,” it’s because we are sick of the special snowflake mentality. This land is your land, this land is my land. Liberty and justice for all, not just the ones whose skin color, religion, sexuality, etc you happen to approve of. Admire the Amish all you want but they’re not above the law.


          Going after a small Amish Farmer is beyond REDICULOUS!!!

          YOU LEFT LEANING MORONS who support big pharma but want to persecute a small Christian Farmer are beyond PATHETIC.



      3. Sarah Rivkin

        Wait. So the FDA can approve gadzillion pharmeceutical products with serious side effects, including addiction and death, and approve endless cosmetic and beauty products which make all sorts of false claims; and this is where they place their attention? To say that this is justice served, and we need laws, and the FDA to protect us from false claims while protecting those who sell products with dangerously false claims is beyond hypocritical. This is a court jester system and FDA vendetta on someone who is not a “corporation”, and part of a group that does not conform to social engineering expectations.
        If someone buys a product, and it doesn’t work as expected, DON’T BUY IT AGAIN!!! S I M P L E !!! The nanny state at it’s worst.

        1. Injustice for Sam

          AMEN. It’s absolutely the most ridiculous thing. I wish someone with the influence and power to put the criminals, yes I’m saying it, criminals that put this man in prison would shut them down. They should loose their jobs. I’m very angry. How do they sleep


      Justice Prevails

      Being Amish does mean you can do as you please. I am surprised that his sentence is not longer given the circumstances of this situation. Say what you will about labelling requirements (I agree with Elaine) the rest of his actions are not what I expect of a law abiding citizen.

      1. Osiah based on the rest of your statement I think you left out a “not” from the message above (does *not* mean you can do as you please).

        I would say that there is a lot of strong reaction in Girod’s favor that doesn’t even acknowledge that this person seems to have repeatedly flaunted the law.

        I don’t think that type of one-sided response does him or his group a great service.

        I also get a bad feeling from this as he was claiming and/or insinuating these treatments would cure cancer. It’s not something to claim lightly even if you believe it to be true based on some anecdotal cases.

        As far as government interference I lean towards less-is-better. But the flip side of that is the need for individual responsibility.

        1. Judith

          Yes, I am in agreement, Erik.

          There has always been a Libertarian streak with regards to the conversation surrounding the Amish. However – openly flaunting the Law (especially fleeing and evading justice with regards to hurting those who suffer from cancer) to this degree is downright evil. No one said all Amish behave this way – this is one individual. An individual who earned his sentence (which he probably will not serve in its entirety due to over-crowding and the fact that he is Amish will undoubtedly serve him in an early release).

          Because he is Amish – he will probably not serve his whole sentence. I’m just really surprised at the level of tolerance for the criminals who break the law and just happen to be Amish here and in the rust belt.

          I wonder if this man was not Amish – if he was a black Muslim man – if people would say this sentence was too long. I have a feeling the alt-right bootstompers would say it wasn’t long enough.

      2. Forest Hazel

        Agreed. In this case he got what he deserved.

    4. Bill

      That’s correct, and toy & other maunufactures do it to us everyday. Also when I buy a box of cereal I expect it to be full not 2/3 full. American manufactures are put things on the market everyday that doesn’t work as intended or breaks down after about 30 min use. I just wish the English population was a honest as most Amish. For 80% the English, it’s all about the dollar. For 90% of the Amish it’s about values.

    5. Pat

      Just because he is Amish does not give him the freedom to break the law. It is not only this case that the Amish feel the law does not apply to them. I am a taxi driver and am with them daily. Some are upstanding citizens and wonderful people. But just like with any culture there are people that feel they can do as they please without consequence. These Amish refuse to put their children in car seats, want to allow them to stand in the van while it is moving, do not want to wear seatbelts, trespass while hunting, take young deer that are below the size and rules in our state, kill far more deer than they should, hunt out of season and these are just a few things they do and voice their opinion about the government over. We have laws to protect people and property, some may seem arcane or impose an inconvenience for some but the are the law nonetheless. Just because your Amish does not mean you are above them.

    6. Bill

      I understand. I know many, do business with many, and have taxied them also. We must also remember that they live in the days & ways of our pioneers. Those laws didn’t exist then. First priority is providing for your family. I rode in/drove cars for 20 years before the seat belt law was enacted in 1968. I not only walked around in moving vehicles but rode in the back of open pickups for many years. I am now 69, in one piece and healthy. Deer is not in short supply. I’m not saying they shouldn’t comply but I put myself in their shoes, it’s a hard life. I don’t live that lifestyle because I enjoy my electricity but I respect them for what they do. Today, I design and print labels for their baked goods and home-style products, as they are trying to comply with the English laws pertaining to ingredients and allergy warnings. Which leads to another case in point. If it’s called a Pecan Pie, why must I have a printed warning label stating that it contains Pecans? To protect city folk from the unscrupulous? I was born and raised in the San Francisco area I now live in rural Wisconsin because I don’t enjoy being around law making city people and those that have never had dirt under their fingernails.

      1. Amy


        I also came out in one piece from driving in a car without seatbelts and in the back of a pickup truck, but the laws are there because other people weren’t so lucky. I understand that the Amish live differently than the outside world, but if this man sold to the outside world, he has to follow the regulations set by that outside world. Most Amish respect the law. I’m sure there’s more to the story than we’re hearing, though.

        1. Judith


          Regarding seat belts – I have never been hurt not wearing a seat belt. However – I know some people who have. And I don’t mind the government invading my life regarding safety.

          Not only does my brother have a small hole in his tongue from jumping around in the back seat of a 1964 Mercury Monterey while my parents were driving and hit a pothole and he bit through his tongue – (boy, that was a lot of blood – no seat belts) — but…

          … also a high school friend of mine has been close to brain dead for the last 30 years, she can’t walk nor change herself, she can’t talk, or take care of herself at all, she has been living in an assisted living hospital, she can’t write or read, no communication in any way, can not understand me when I come to visit her. Her Mom died last year at age 80, her father left the family a long time ago, her brother rarely visits her. All her high school friends who remember what she was like have all moved on and haven’t come by for years, if not decades. It was a head injury that could have been prevented by simple click of a seat belt.

          To survive a life by not wearing seat belts is nothing to be proud of, as I’m sure you know. But NIOSH (the national institute of safety and health – the one govt. agency along with OSHA that watches out for safe work places so one would not get their arm cut off in an accident that was preventable except for greed of corporations) has been eviscerated by a HUGE $152 million dollar cut! 40% of its work force – poof, gone! Now corporations can go crazy making huge profits off the injuries of its workers and there is no one to sue regarding the healthcare. Look it up it’s on Trump’s budget.

          “Don’t tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value.” ― Joe Biden

          1. Buckling up as second nature

            Having always been taught to wear a seatbelt (even in the backseat), I feel strange in those occasional cases when not wearing one (for instance, recently in a taxi in Ukraine which for whatever reason has had its belt holsters hidden underneath the seat – not uncommon to find in fact), even uncomfortable.

            “Buckle up” is an American and perhaps Anglosphere habit; my experience and impression is that buckling up in the backseat is considered unusual in places like central or Mediterranean Europe. I buckle up instinctively when in a vehicle in Poland while others in the backseat will look at me strangely for doing so, even in 2017. I’m glad it’s ingrained in me…as your friend’s sad story shows Judith it is a tiny thing that can become a huge thing. Really sorry to read about that.

            1. Sandra Kathleen

              The car doesn't go until the belts are on

              When I got married and had the say, the car didn’t turn on until belts were clicked. By everyone. Even my Dad. Even friends who didn’t think them necessary. When kids came along, the same rule applied. Everyone wore seat belts or the car didn’t work. So by now 48 years later, it’s just something you do when you get in the car. Have I been in an accident and “saved” by my seatbelt? No; however, there are people I’ve known that have been killed or maimed in such accidents. Not worth the risk for something that is so easy.

          2. Sandra Karhleen

            It’s admirable that you still honor the person your friend once was.

            And, thank you for the Joe Biden quote. Kinda like the Bible quote from Matthew 6:21…”where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

    7. Robert Braun

      Amish Life

      It,s a shame that their are so many quick to put the Amish down just because their life style is different from what they call the English. So the
      farmer didn’t do proper labeling . Is this the whole story? Sometimes someone ends up being the scapegoat or test case like in the case of Martha
      Stewart. Anybody else would have got a slap on the hand but because she
      was getting too famous it was time to knock her down. I feel that this is
      a lot like whats happening in the Samuel case pure sinful jealously.
      Its sick people who have a grudge for the Amish just like they have a hate for the Catholic Church. And believe me both the Amish and the Catholic Church will be around and thrive for many many more years. I say lets live and let live. The Amish are hard working Christians.

    8. Patricia F.

      This is way too harsh

      I am so very sorry this is way too harsh of a sentence. The Amish Farmers who develop tonics and unctures do not do this for a great profit or for any Secular Reasons most of them make things that are practical and will work for their lifestyle. THIS government is truly trying to destroy a culture. I hope Trump Pardons him with time served.

    9. Ken Tibbetts

      Agency inconsistancy

      There are literally scores of of herbal supplement manufacturer’s products on the shelves of all the most well known drug chains and other big chain outlets in all 50 states of the US. Some of them are harmful; some of them not. None are subject to FDA ‘label laws.’ About half of the adult population knows that that these ‘supplements’ are nothing but ‘snake oil’ and are on the open market for only one reason: to make money for their manufacturer…regardless of the outlandish and ridiculous claims touted by their maker. The FDA knows this and claims they have no jurisdiction over them, so the FDA doesn’t hassle them. Why make a federal case out of one Amish man who wishes to jump on the ‘English’ band wagon make a few bucks for himself? As long as ‘Big Business’ pays off their Congressmen to keep the FDA at bay for them they will remain ‘safe’ from the FDA. Seems to me that poor Samuel doesn’t have the loot to pay off the government, ergo he must suffer the consequences. What a crying shame.

    10. Sandra Kathleen

      Amish in America are given religious freedom not the right to fkaunt laws

      I admire aspects of Amish life that include a strong faith lived with hard work in a community of others who share a like belief. 300 years ago, Amish immigrated here for the religious freedom to do just that. And, although some changes done Amish object to (I’m thinking here about the slow vehicle triangle in buggies) have cause consternation between Amish and the law, the laws were imposed as our society has evolved from largely agrarian to urban: adjustment is needed for everyone’s safety. (This includes, by the way, seat belt laws: just because you personally suffered no harm unbelted in the past, does not mean everyone should avoid the practice that has saved thousands of lives today.)

      Nonetheless, there are laws in the country in which we all live. Laws that are generally structured for the well-being of its citizenry. If you want different laws, connect with your legislators and lobby for different ones. If this Amish man feels his sentence is too heavy for his crime, he has the right to appeal. I’d say the sentence seems harsh, but I don’t know all the facts. The fact that he flaunted authorities after being given guidelines about changes that would advertise his product more accurately and also committed other crimes, including tampering with a witness (!) does not hold him in high esteem by me… and, I’m sure these acts contributed to his sentence. If and English person did the same things, would there be such an outcry if injustice? I think not.

      We are given religious freedom in our country… not largesse to do as we please because our religion often confers a sense of holier-than-thou mentality by outsiders to that faith. And, I think there is a kind of fantasy regarding Amish faith and life that’s not grounded in reality. It IS a hard life — purposefully so. There ARE misunderstandings about Amish lifestyle and faith, one of which is the motivations of ALL in the community are God-driven. As is true in all human endeavor, most people are faithful and law-abiding and respect the rights and strive for the well being of others in the society. Unfortunately, in every community, including the Amish community, there are those that deem themselves above or beyond that.

    11. Min. T. Miller

      Our Brother has Broken the Law

      Sadly, our brother has broken the law, has been found guilty by the jury, and now must pay for his crime. He has very little support in the Anabaptist community, other than prayers being prayed for his spiritual life, and prayers for his family. Church discipline and punishment may follow. Many in the plain community are also concerned about how many lives were hurt or injured or even prematurely ended by his actions. We pray for his soul.

    12. KimH

      Price we pay

      If I were to sell you an herbal concoction that actually caused you physical harm by burning you, and I told you that this was a miracle ointment and that it would cure you of cancer, then that would be ok?
      And then when you turned me in and the people you entrust to keep you safe told me I couldn’t do things the way I had been doing them but said I could do what I want as long as they were done in a manner that protected my customers, then I said “too bad” and refused to do them. Then, when I refused to comply, and I hid, and ran from the law..are you telling me that this scenerio is ok with you?
      I DO sell herbal and essential oil products​, but I’ll tell you in a heartbeat, if I was doing any if the above, I’d deserve to go to jail. It’s blatant disregard to the law and worse others health.
      It amazes me that many are standing up for this fella when his own community are not. It should tell you something.

      1. I think too often people over-sympathize with the Amish to the point that they overlook their inherent human flaws and are fast willing to ignore or overlook behavior that they’d find unacceptable in others. I don’t think it’s how Amish people generally would like us to view them.

    13. AJ

      I noticed that the tootsie roll and Merry Jane are sold at a lot of Amish stores. They seem to have a love for old American candy brands that have kind of gone out of style.

      1. How about Pixie stix or Bit-o-Honey? Two old childhood favorites:)

        1. Robert

          Question For Erik/Amish American

          I Am new to this site. Where can I address a question to you?

    14. Bailey

      I will be praying for him

      someone said that people who commit murder are let out earlier, that’s not necessarily true and even IF they are they still probably have to go through with probation. I’m tired of people thinking that just because he is Amish that this is cruel and harsh. people are people no matter what race, or religion. and we are all human which means we mess up, even if someone is Amish, it doesn’t mean that he is perfect!

    15. Robert

      I must say it again.

      Samual is skapte goat. The punishment is too harsh . Three years of probation and a hefty fine would have been enough. It’s people who commit
      far more serious crimes that get much less jail time. The liberal judges let them out to rape and murder and then are surprised that they are arrested again. Lets not forget Samual neither murdered raped or sexually assaulted a child. I give his friends fellow Amish Brothers and family credit for supporting him. Lets stop trying to make the Amish people look bad. I know God will see this injustice. Too many people are too quick

    16. Bill

      Where's the Justice? Help me find it.

      I don’t know Samuel, he might be a bad guy and a real jerk. Some Amish behavior is just like everyone else’s. there’s good and bad. But the ratio of good and bad is in favor of the Amish, as far as being good. Many of us are saying they are not above the law. No, they are not, the laws apply to all but walk a mile in their shoes and see what you think of some of the laws. Should we hold it against them for not conforming the modern day lifestyle? I think not. I don’t want to live there lifestyle, but I respect them for it and you won’t find many English men with such a high work ethic. Here in Wisconsin the Amish don’t drink or drive yet I know of an Amish man who has a DWI. So, you are correct, they’re not perfect, they’re human.

      What I don’t understand is why Samuel got sentenced to 6 years and others are not in jail after 7 & 8 DWIs. Is that justice? On a traffic stop I could try to elide the police, have a criminal record, be drinking a beer, smoking a joint, have stolen property in the car and not get 6 years. A 19 year old neighbor who has a long record (1 being a felony)was arrested for harassment, while carrying a gun (another felony) and spent 2 weeks in jail. I think we could go on and on about different cases and it changes nothing, but I do have to question, in many cases, WHERE’s the justice?

    17. Dan Gadd


      This is an UNJUST TRAVESTY

    18. kim

      ashamed & disappointed

      this is ridiculous.My goodness,I would bet my bottom dollar there’s not one ingredient in that salve that causes any harm. And as for the FDA,what a joke in my opinion. I could name off 10 people without even thinking on it that have colon cancer. why are so many people suffering from colon cancer. In my little world the majority of friends, love ones, acquaintes that have cancer is in the colon. Why? what’s in the food? These so-called leaders, I’m so ashamed of going after this man. I don’t know how they sleep. All the real bad things going on, real things that are seriously hurting, killing people and this is what they decide to focus time, resources, energy & funds on? They should be absolutely ashamed. I am disappointed and frankly disgusted! what about a petition in Samuels behalf? I don’t know if it would help because these leaders, and I hate using that word for these people, are clearly, well, I’m just gonna say they are very nasty people.

    19. Marie

      Samuel Girod to Prison

      You are missing the point! I own a business that uses formulas and if there weren’t some rules for discovery of items produced how could the consumer trust what they are sold. It is my understanding all he had to do was register or patent his products. Simple as that. It is done every day. Doesn’t make our officials “nasty people” or stupid. EVERYONE needs to follow our laws and regulations, most regulations are there for a reason. I agree we are over regulated in some areas but until they are changed you follow the rules or take the consequences

    20. By: david clarence.

      Samuel "Volunteered" to be Regulated, Prosecuted & Imprisoned!

      U.S. Supreme Court Justices have Stated Many Times that “Everyone in Prison, Volunteered to be Prisoners”.

      The remedy is rather simple, but Few are Willing To “Come-Out-of-Her”!

      The Amish [and one-here has Dunkard heritage], like everyone else, are Tricked into Recording their children being “Born”, as a “Birth” [and every farmer should know that only animals give birth NOT Women!], and then “Assume” the “False” Identity printed upon the CERTIFICATE OF BIRTH. And then Conduct Ourselves as that FALSE Identity all of our lives.

      It is Said, Suffering is the Wages for SIN!

      STOP – Sinning!

      By: schroll, david clarence.