Samuel Girod, an Amish farmer from Lexington, Kentucky, will go to trial on February 27th, charged with conspiracy, distributing misbranded drugs, and threatening a witness. The reason: he makes a healing salve, an ointment he’s been producing for over 20 years, and the Food and Drug Administration isn’t happy about how he markets it.
Girod became a targeted individual of the federal government’s FDA, since someone from Missouri, in 2013, reported the Amish man to the state health department. At issue, were claims the company made about its balm, which is made from ingredients like rosemary, beeswax, peppermint, chickweed, eucalyptus oil, olive oil, lavender oil, and comfrey.
Farmer claims his product cures cancer
Officials with the FDA say it’s not what’s inside his product that concerns them, but rather, the claims the farmer made about his product, principally, that it cures cancer. Girod said that a customer who had skin cancer used the all-natural product and reported to him it had cured his cancer. So the Amish farmer put that report in his advertising of the product.
“He’s not allowed to say that…so he changed the label. And then he called it ‘Healing Chickweed Salve’,” said one supporter. Ultimately, she said Girod was forced to call his product “Original Chickweed Salve.” Another of his products, To-Mor-Gone, also made similar claims about its ability to heal cancerous tumors. The product contains bloodroot plant extract, said to be caustic to the skin.
Officials argue they are protecting consumers
One controversial aspect of the FDA’s certification process is that it is redundant. For example, GW Pharmaceuticals has already gone through the United Kingdom’s certification process to bring their product, Sativex (a cannabis-derived sub-lingual spray for pain, spasms, and epilepsy) to market. But now that the company wants to sell the product in the U.S., the company has to, once again, go through all of the approval processes, a process which has lasted well over 3 years now in the U.S., costing the company millions of dollars. So it’s easy to see how and why one lone farmer, whose product has no chemical medicines inside of it, would even care to attempt the approval process.
Refuses the let the FDA inspect his production facility
It’s not just that the farmer makes claims about his product which has gotten him in trouble, it’s also that he’s put those claims in writing, has refused to allow the FDA to inspect his production facilities, and has treated any attempts to do so with hostility. “Prosecutors pointed out that back in 2013, a federal judge in Missouri banned Girod from distributing these products until he met certain conditions. Those conditions include allowing the FDA to inspect where Girod made the goods. According to the indictment, the FDA says their officers were prevented from conducting an inspection at the farm. They also say Girod continued to sell the products without letting his customers know they were the subject of a court-ordered injunction,” writes WKYT.
However, local residents and family, who’ve bought his product for decades, disagree.
“I think everybody in the community has heard about it,” said Bath County resident, Suza Moody, explaining how everyone in the community is up in arms over how this man is jail and facing 68 years — for a homemade salve he sold to willing customers.
“I can’t even figure out what he has done wrong,” said Moody. “They live at the foot of the cross and the thought of one of them intentionally doing something wrong is outrageous.”
Wary of lawyers, Girod is representing himself
Being Amish, and not trusting lawyers, Girod is representing himself. He failed to be present for a court hearing, and was later arrested on “failure to appear” charges.
“Sam is a very literal person. This hearing didn’t say, ‘Hey Sam you’ve got to be here.’ It just said there’s a status hearing in your case and he thought he didn’t have to show up. It was a mistake on his part, but because he is not an attorney, he just doesn’t understand,” said family friend, Sally Oh.
Moody pointed out a possible reason for this attack on Girod, “They are targeting the Amish because they don’t threaten. They don’t fight back, and they don’t like lawyers.”
“They are just devastated. I mean when they brought him out in handcuffs. It was awful,” said Oh.
In the meantime, the makers of OxyContin, the drug responsible for thousands of deaths a year, are likely enjoying a $25,000 lunch with department heads in the FDA. Shameful, indeed.
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Is Bread Really the Staff of Life… or the Stuff of Disease?
For most us, there are few foods more comforting than bread.
Fluffy biscuits, crusty baguettes, flaky croissants… even a simple slice of toast topped with melted butter can taste like heaven.
And that smell… few scents are quite as pleasant as fresh bread baking in the oven.
But there is a lot of confusion as to where bread fits into a healthy diet.
The Bible practically commands followers to eat it: “Give us this day our daily bread…” The government put it at the base of the food pyramid. And for centuries, it has been called “the staff of life.”
Of course, there are some who disagree…
Well-known cardiologist, Dr. William Davis, calls wheat “the perfect chronic poison.”
And for a poison, we sure eat lots of it…
The average American consumes 55 pounds of wheat flour every year, making refined flour the #1 source of calories in the American Diet – a situation that nutrition expert Chris Kresser describes as, “a public health catastrophe.”
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The answers to these questions may surprise you!
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Sponsored Health Resources
In the years that I've been working on this website project I've come across some amazing resources by some very special people. I'd like to share them with you here.
NOTE: I update these links often so please check back to see what's new!
1) Everyone knows green smoothies are healthy right? Have you heard of a “red” smoothie? If not, check out this story…
2) Forget what you've read about 10-day lemonade cleanses, 7-day detoxes with green juices and Gwyneth's gruel. All you need to do, and this is perfect for Saturday or or anytime really, is a simple 1-day cleanse.
3) This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
4) I thought it was virtually impossible for a website to be able to tell me anything even a little bit insightful after only submitting my name and date of birth... I was wrong!
5) Turmeric is amazing. The problem is - It's hard to absorb!
6) Wonder why your stomach still sticks out even though you're hammering the core exercises every day? It's a common myth that bulging belly is due to weak abdominal muscles.
7) Even if you're the most active of athletes, you may still suffer from tight hip flexors due to the amount of time you spend each day planted to a chair.
Enjoy! Let me know how these work out for you. And if you run across anything I've missed please let me know.