These Trump Supporters Call Dairy Product Inspection Tyranny?

Supporters of Amos Miller descended onto the Lancaster County Courthouse to rally behind the Amish farmer in his fight against the state of Pennsylvania.

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Crowds of protesters on Thursday were seen gathered outside the building on North Duke Street as the hearing in the case against Miller’s farm unfolded inside the courthouse. Miller, whose cause has become a rallying call for conservatives, is being sued by the state to stop him from selling raw milk and other unregulated products.

The lawsuit, announced last month, arrived weeks after Amos Miller Organic Farm was raided by state troopers who seized edible products as part of a search warrant obtained after the Pennsylvania Agriculture Department learned Miller’s products had been linked to E. coli outbreaks in two other states. It is not the first time that foodborne illness outbreaks had been tied to Miller’s farm, and Attorney General Michelle Henry argued that the latest legal action is the result of Miller’s history of noncompliance with food safety regulations.

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Amid the January 4 farm raid and subsequent lawsuit, Miller has garnered support from Republicans across the country, including prominent figures like Donald Trump Jr. and Representative Thomas Massie. Conservatives have argued that the actions against Miller represent government overreach and some have criticized law enforcement for cracking down on Miller rather than dangerous criminals.

Miller’s supporters were seen carrying signs outside the courthouse that read phrases like, “Stand Against Tyranny,” “I’ll decide what I eat” and “Food Freedom.”

“Amos Miller represents the tip of the spear when it comes to food freedom,” Chris Hume, host of The Lancaster Patriot Podcast, told rally participants. “The state wants to shut him down. They want to punish him for serving neighbors. Amos Miller is providing a service to his neighbors.”

“We don’t need the state to be our nanny. We don’t need the state to look over our shoulder. We don’t need the state to tell us what we can and can’t eat. We don’t need the state to tell us what to teach our children,” he said.

During his speech, Hume blamed state law enforcement and agriculture officials for carrying out the raid, arguing that those officers should have defied their orders and refused to seize Miller’s products or require him to comply with state regulations. He also said Miller’s dilemma is among many facing Amish farmers.

“The ordinary people are the ones who propagate tyranny,” he said. “Pol Pot, Stalin, Hitler, they didn’t kill millions of people. You know who killed millions of people? The people who are following their orders and that’s what’s happening here.”

Lancaster County, where the raw-milk fight is unfolding, has long been a Republican stronghold. The county has voted for a Democratic presidential candidate only once since 1880, and that was for Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. Trump carried the county by more than 56 percent of the vote in both 2016 and 2020.

‘Identifiable victim’ helps incite Republican base

Susanne Schwarz, assistant professor of political science at Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, previously told Newsweek that Miller’s story has helped give conservatives angry with the federal government an “identifiable victim.”

“Miller, an otherwise law-abiding small-business owner from a politically and socially conservative community, is being targeted by government authorities for selling homemade products,” Schwarz said. “His story leaves conservative voters wondering, ‘If this happened to him, could it happen to me?’—thus reinforcing their notion that government harms rather than serves its constituents.”