Huckster alert: farmer sentenced to repay mislabeled meat’s ‘end-users’ in Arkansas

A Morrilton farmer who runs Petit Jean Farm was sentenced Friday to three years’ probation and ordered to pay a $2,000 fine for admittedly selling mislabeled meat in 2010 and 2011.

aefbanner1Ed Martsolf, 67, also must pay restitution of $3,257.07, to be divided among about 50 people who were considered “end users” of the meat that was falsely labeled as coming from “grass-fed” animals but was actually obtained commercially and fraudulently relabeled.

In January, Martsolf pleaded guilty to two felonies, admitting that he mislabeled meat that his family farm sold in 2010 and 2011 to grocery stores and restaurants in Arkansas, to claim falsely that it had been inspected by agents from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

No illnesses were ever reported as a result of anyone eating the misbranded meat, but in late February 2011, the USDA recalled several of the company’s meat products — beef, pork, lamb and chicken.