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Video: Gov’t authorities raid organic farm, seize food in Pennsylvania

Police car lights (Dreamstime/TNS)
January 05, 2024

The Amos Miller Organic Farm in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, was raided by three Pennsylvania State Troopers and seven other officials for multiple hours on Thursday.

According to The Lancaster Patriot, Thursday’s raid came as the result of a search warrant and included officials seizing multiple coolers of Amos Miller’s farm products, including chocolate milk, sour cream, eggnog and ice cream.

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture conducted the search with the help of the Pennsylvania State Police.

When a reporter from The Lancaster Patriot attempted to enter the farm facility during Thursday’s raid, a Pennsylvania State Trooper explained, “We’re conducting a search warrant inside this building right now.”

The state trooper also told The Lancaster Patriot reporter to leave the facility until the completion of the search warrant.

The Lancaster Patriot reported that a search warrant for Miller’s Lancaster farm was issued by Magisterial District Judge B. Denise Commins on Jan. 3. The warrant included a probable cause affidavit by Sheri Morris, Acting Bureau Director of Food Safety with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

The affidavit, which was obtained by The Lancaster Patriot, included claims against Miller’s farm products ranging from 2016 to Dec. 19, 2023. The latest claim explained that Morris was notified “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.” The individual allegedly had consumed products that were purchased from Miller’s private buying club.

The affidavit claims that Miller has not completed the application process through the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture for “registration, licensing, or permitting under the pertinent Retail Food Facility Safety Act, Food Safety Act, or Milk Sanitation Laws.”

According to The Lancaster Patriot, after the search warrant was completed Thursday, Miller was provided with a list of 37 items that were seized during the search.

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Additionally, a notice posted on a walk-in cooler door warned that the food “has been detained by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture pursuant to Section 5726(a) of the Food Safety Act.” The notice explained that the food “may be adulterated or misbranded and shall be detained.”

The notice added that it is “unlawful to remove the food from the premises or to dispose of it without approval of the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.”

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) addressed Thursday’s raid in a post on X, formerly Twitter, saying, “Looks like Amos Miller’s farm is being raided. With all of the problems in society today, this is what the government wants to focus on? A man growing food for informed customers, without participating in the industrial meat/milk complex? It’s shameful that it’s come to this.”

The Lancaster Patriot reported that Miller’s private buying club provides customers with alternatives to commercial food products.

“They don’t trust the large corporations,” Miller previously told The Lancaster Patriot. “It’s not sustainable. For some reason the government keeps endorsing the large corporations, and it can cause big trouble.”

Miller’s website explains that all of his farm’s food products, which include items such as milk, eggs, meat and cheese, “are only available to members who belong to our Private Association and are NOT available to the PUBLIC.” As a result, none of Miller’s products are available in grocery stores.

In a statement obtained by The Lancaster Patriot, Robert Barnes, Miller’s attorney, said, “Today, the Department of Agriculture of the State of Pennsylvania suddenly came, without notice, raided Amos’ farm, and detained everything Amos had in the farm’s freezer. They did so in a lawless manner, without appropriate authority, in violation of their own rules and regulations, despite never objecting to the prior resolutions reached with the federal government, and despite a complete failure by the state to even reach out to Amos’ known counsel, Robert Barnes.”

Barnes explained that despite being subjected to “constant harassment,” Miller will “continue to do all he legally can to provide the food his members deeply need.”