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IAHF SERVES NOTICE ON THE BIOPIRATES: IAF & The International Plant Medicine Corp.

Please forward this widely & email your own letters. Other webmasters, please give this top billing on your website. Magazine/Newsletter editors: Please reprint this widely. Radio People: Please use this on your shows. I will make myself available for radio and TV appearances on this breaking story.

To: Mr. George Evans, President
3/9/98
Inter-American Foundation
correo@iaf.gov
Arlington, Virginia, America

From: John C. Hammell, Founder & President
International Advocates for Health Freedom
2411 Monroe St.
Hollywood, Florida Republic, America
jham@concentric.net
www.pnc.com.au/~cafmr/hammell/index.html

Re: Mr.Franco's Letter (2/23/98) from the Inter-American Foundation (included below) to Mr.Antonio Jacanamijoy, General Coordinator, The Coordinating Body for Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon Basin (COICA) (with COICA's response to you below) re the larcenous intrusion of Mr.Loren Miller, of the so called "International Plant Medicine Corporation" to STEAL and PATENT yage (ayahuasca), a HERB which was given to us all by our CREATOR (aka GOD), and which is considered to be a religious sacrament to the Indians around the Amazon river in Ecuador.

Dear Mr.Evans:

After you fire Mr.Franco, please inform him that rather than to arrogantly demand a RETRACTION for COICA's statement regarding the fact that they could not be held responsible for the physical safety of miscreant Miller, you should be GLAD they are trying to help this idiot to simply stay out of harms way!!

Is Franco really so STUPID _and_ so _ARROGANT_ as to expect indigenous people who are being DEFECATED ON to simply TOLERATE Miller's offensive efforts to patent yage, (ayahuasca) a sacred herb to the indigenous people of the Amazon region? Franco (and Miller) are showing exactly _ZERO_ sensitivity to the cultural sensitivity of the people in Ecuador and other Amazon countries who deserve their RESPECT, and you all should be THANKING COICA for taking the time to fully and completely explain every aspect of this situation.

Please learn from this, FIRE FRANCO, and then STOP attempting to go to bat for such loathsome entities as "The International Plant Medicines Corporation." COICA isn't threatening Miller. They are merely informing him that machetes are sharp, and that the natives are restless. Nothing more, and nothing less, sir.

Similarly, kind sir, I inform you that I cannot be held responsible for the behavior of anyone on my distribution list who may read all of this. There are some people in cyberspace who are like Samurai. If any of the people on my list happen to be hackers, I must inform you that there is absolutely nothing I can do if any of them happen to read this and get angry enough to go to some website which they can find in .03 nanoseconds by using Yahoo to search on the word "mailbomb" to locate such sites as the Dissident Aggressor at:

http://www.angelfire.com/wy/DissidentAggressor/mailbombs.html where they can very quickly and easily download such mailbombing programs as "avalanche v.2.8", "kaboom v.2.5","Private Idaho v.2:63b, or (would you believe)"UpYours v.3.0"?? (If you think I am joking about the existence of this site, go there yourself and educate yourself, sir. This is not a threat. This is merely a piece of sagely advice, provided under the first amendment of our Constitution, for I have known people who have been on the receiving end of hackers and they have made their lives a living hell, and I don't want that to happen to you. I am attempting to educate and assist you in your life.

Sir, I want to make very clear that I have never used any of these programs,sir, nor do I recommend that anyone EVER use them,sir, but I am trying to help you by informing you of the utter STUPIDITY of employing an ARROGANT attorney such as Franco, when he appears to be so hopelessly ignorant of even the EXISTENCE of software such as that mentioned above, sir.(If you should forward this to the FBI, please be aware that I have the utmost respect for them, sir, and that I would address them with respect if they should come here, sir.)

There are people I have encountered in my travels through cyberspace who are more than capable of locating Mr.Franco, and changing his home phone # to the one down at the corner tavern,sir, or the corner brothel, if they so choose, sir. There are also people out here capable of doing the same thing to your office phone,sir, and there are people out here who are capable of nuking your server into utter oblivion using any of the programs described in detail at the website listed above, sir.

I am not recommending that anyone do this,sir, nor have I ever even once used any of these programs or encouraging that anyone ever do anything illegal, or immoral, as God, our mutual Creator, is my witness, sir. I am trying to help you here, to educate you, much as COICA is when they so kindly informed Mr.Miller that it would simply not be wise for him to ever go near the indigenous people of the Amazon again with even the remotest intention of trying to DESECRATE a sacred, historical symbol of the people: the sacred herb,ayahuasco.

I must fully appraise you of the fact that people, of all races, cultures, and creeds, WORLD WIDE are growing INCENSED by biopiracy and lifepatenting. Some latter day Nazi eugenicists have even gone so far as to patent human umbilical cord cells, and human genes. Please visit http://www.rafi.ca/rafi/communique/fltxt/biolist.html There you will find the RAFI list of biopirates, and on that list you will find International Plant Medicine Corporation, which you (or at least Franco) seems to rather mindlessly support. (Are his views SHARED by YOU, please let the world know.)

RAFI states unequivocally that IPMC is attempting to forcibly put the squeeze on the indigenous Amazon people in Ecuador in an effort to STEAL Ayahuasca (yage), which the indians there have used as a sacrament in religious ceremonies for thousands of years, and for some bizarre reason, Mr.Franco, one of your employees at the Inter-America Foundation Foundation, is taking a position which DOES NOT REPRESENT MY VIEWS AS AN AMERICAN CITIZEN, or THAT OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE ACROSS AMERICA AND AROUND THE WORLD WHO ARE INCENSED BY BIOPIRACY.

As an American citizen and consumer advocate, I insist that you immediately fire Mr.Franco for the collossal arrogance reflected in his letter, that you immediately STOP supporting this highly corrupt and immoral company, and demand that you issue an immediate apology to the 80 delegates, representing 400 groups of indigenous peoples from nine Amazon countries who issued a resolution within the past year at the Fifth Congress of COICA in Georgetown, Guyana in a courageous effort to defend their culture from the greed of the multinational corporations who would rape, pillage, and plunder our planet showing zero respect for God's creation.

COICA's excellent letter to you is going to be prominently displayed in the IAHF website, discussed on radio shows all over N.America which I appear on regularly, and I will forward it to a legion of my fellow journalists world wide. I am prepared to give you equal time, but if you FAIL to respond to their letter, any failure on your part to respond WILL BE CONSPICUPOSLY NOTED and pointed out to many members of not only the US Congress, but to ALSO to members of the Australian, Canadian and British Parliaments who I have also been educating, as well as to the entire IAHF distribution list world wide.

I want you to be fully appraised of the FACT that when the University of Mississippi attempted to PATENT the herb turmeric for the purpose of "wound healing", the Government of India grew JUSTIFIABLY OUTRAGED and successfully challenged the patent at the US patent office, which was forced to LIFT a patent they never should have granted in the first place because it was most emphatically _NOT_ a "novel invention."

If you wish, you may forward this message to the FBI. They have paid me a visit in the past. I spoke with Junior Ortiz of the Miami office of the FBI who came to my office and I pointed to the Constitution on the wall behind my computer, and explained to him that he really should uphold his oath, because to do anything less was TREASON against the Republic of Florida and against the sovereign nation of America. Ortiz informed me that I had "violated Title 18" but I had not, I had merely expressed an OPINION. I expressed the belief that in all likelihood, if the German Codex proposal should ever, under any circumstances, be shoved down the throuts of the American people, in all likelihood, blood would flow in the streets.This REMAINS my opinion. My very strong opinion, but it is not a threat of any kind, I am a peaceful, law abiding man. Sir, it would not bother me in the least if Mr.Ortiz were to come here again, as I am a law abiding man, and he knows it.

I have informed the American Congress that the FDA's ANPR in the July 7th 1997 Federal Register, Vol.62, #129 pp.36243-36248 in which the FDA has blithely announced their intention to throw our Constitution out the window and to harmonize their regs with emerging Codex standards is UNLAWFUL. Read all about this in the IAHF website. I stated this having observed the despicable shell game known as the UN's Codex Alimentarius Commission up close and personal as a member of the American Codex delegation in Bonn, Germany.

I am not a violent man, I am a writer, and make a living by the pen. The PEN is far mightier than the sword, and with the pen, and by harnessing our power at the ballot box, the power of prayer, and the power to organize in cyberspace as well as in front of the health food stores, we, the people of this planet, are going to stop the evil represented by corporate front groups such as yours, which has the collassal gall to presume to represent me, as a freedom loving American who stands resolutely in defense of God's herbs. I have had death threats since doing this work, and frankly, am unafraid. You people can kill my body, but you can't kill my soul, and a day will come when I will be a witness against you in front of our Creator.

Franco's despicable letter to COICA follows along with COICA's eloquent reply. Please cc me a copy of your reply to COICA, along with your letter which terminates Franco from his job, and if you should fail to do this, I am going to get help from several members of Congress who will come calling upon you to give me what I am requesting here for the IAHF website. Rest assured that this is being read by not only members of the US Congress, but also the Australian, Canadian and British Parliament, as well as concerned consumers world wide who want to take herbs, and not be forced by the drug companies to pay extortionistic prices. We are outhere, and we are watching your every move, sir. Is this abundantly clear to you and to Mr.Franco? I am angry, but I am doing you and Mr.Franco a favor here, sir. It is my intention to help you, even if it may not seem that way to you, so please do not get angry at me. Please have the courtesy to respond so I can publish your response along with this in the IAHF website, and I also want Franco's response to COICA if he is man enough to face the truth as well as man enough to look himself in the mirror in the morning.

For Freedom,
John C. Hammell, legislative advocate, Founder, IAHF

Letters described above from Franco of IAF to COICA and their excellent Rebuttal follow:

>Return-Path: <radred@ix.netcom.com>
X-Sender: radred@popd.ix.netcom.com
X-Mailer: Windows Eudora Pro Version 2.2 (32)
Date: Sat, 07 Mar 1998 19:57:36 -0500
To: mavmedia@aol.com, Tfmag@aol.com
From: Carol Liu <radred@ix.netcom.com>
Subject: Battle over attempts to patent sacred plant ayahuasca
Comments: Authenticated sender is <sebastian@mail.eusnet.org>
From: sebastian@eusnet.org
To: netwarriors@hookele.com
Date: Thu, 5 Mar 1998 11:46:53 +0000
Subject: FYI

I receive this one from COICA coica@uio.satnet.net

Dear brothers and friends:

We are sending a copy of the reponse that COICA completed and has given to the Inter-American Foundation (Fundacion Interamericana-FIA) -an assistance organization appointed to the United States Congress- by the pressures that we have been receiving for the retraction of our resolutions to reject the patenting of ayahuasca or yage by the individual Loren Miller, proprietor of the pharmaceutical labratory International Plant Medicine Corporation with headquarters in the United States. Also we have been receiving strong pressure from the north american Embassy in Ecuador.

The same has been done to the indigenous federation of amazonian peoples of Ecuador, CONFENIAE, whom were informed that they should return funds for the education project for refusing to sign a retraction of there comdemnation of Loren Miller. To conclude there is an attached copy of the letter sent by the IAF to COICA.

We believe that the created situation is very serious, and it will be very important insurrection for us to confront these pressures by sending letters addressed to the IAF that express our rejection of the patenting of this sacred plant of Amazonian indigenous peoples, and ask that the IAF not interfere in the internal matters of our peoples.

These letters should be addressed to:

Mr. George Evans
President of the Inter-American Foundation
Fax 703-841-0973
e-mail: correo@iaf.gov
Arlington, Virginia, USA

We would also please ask that you send a copy to COICA. Many thanks.


Mr. George Evans, President of the Inter-American Foundation
Mr. Adolfo Franco, Vice-President
Fax 703-841-0973
Washington

Sirs:

We have read with interest and much concern, the letter of the 23rd of February this year from Mr. Franco, that we believe, expresses the position of the Inter-American Foundation, demanding the retraction of a resolution adopted in the past year at the Fifth Congress of COICA realized in Georgetown, Guyana.

Above all, we should clarify some false statements contained within the mentioned correspondence.

Firstly, in no instance has COICA recognized that the resolution about Mr. Miller was "inappropriate" and even less so, that it has been "a threat". Secondly, to let it be clarified, COICA does not retract nor will it retract the resolution adopted through mature and sovereign means by more than 80 delegates representing 400 groups of indigenous peoples from nine Amazonian countries. Only the next Congress - in the year 2001- would have the authority to do this or to reaffirm in the defense of our rights.

The Amazonian indigenous peoples condemn the actions of Mr. Miller. We have assumed a sovereign decision as peoples, as would do any other society of the world, that had suffered the lack of respect for their culture, their customs, their sacred symbols... Is it not an offence in your country to damage historical symbols, such as the flag? Is it not for Christains, Jews and Muslims a major offense to desecrate a sacred place or symbol? Well then, this is the same that Mr. Miller has done with ayahuasca or yagé.

There is significant bibliography in whatever specialized library within the United States, where you will be able to check the sacred character that this plant has for many of our peoples. Here we cite only one of the renowned anthropologists that has written on this theme: "According to our informants, between the vaupés indians, the purpose of the drink yagé is to return to the uterus, to the source and origin of all things, in that the individual "sees" the tribal divinities, the creation of the universe and of humanity... According to the indigenous, the individual "dies" but later is reborn in a state of wisdom, because to wake from the trance of yagé is to be convinced of the truth of their religion, since you have seen with your own eyes the personifications of the supernatural and mythical scenes...." (Reichel-Dolmatoff, 1972, cited in "Hallucinogenics and culture", Peter Furst, Economic Culture Fund, Mexico 1980).

These are some contemporary books to which you can refer to verify our statements: "One River", Wade Davis, 1996. "The Jivaro: People of the Sacred Waterfalls", Michael J. Harner, 1972. "Hallucinogens and Shamanism", edited by Michael J. Harner, 1973. "Von Roraima zum Orinoco", by the German student Koch-Grunberg, 1917-1928, and a hundred years of categorical ethnobotanical writings from the Englishman Richard Spruce (that recognized the first samples of banisteriopsis caapi in 1851), until Richard Evans Schultes of Harvard University in the decade of the 1970´s.

We do not cite these books for an issue of intellectual debate: however, it is a way inwhich you can understand the magnitud of the offense committed against our peoples, for one person to appropriate a sacred symbol, of that which is to us the consecrated wafer of Christians. That can give you an idea of the indignation which crossed through all of the Amazon Basin, into each community where the news is known. This should explain the sentence within the adopted resolution in which COICA stated they were not responsible for the physical integrity of Miller, who had insulted the culture of hundreds of peoples.

But before saying to us that the reaction of indigenous peoples formed in COICA was disproportionate, you should recognize, above all, that Mr. Miller has committed a large offense against indigenous peoples in the patenting, for his benefit, a sacred plant that he himself recognizes to have "discovered" in the smallholding of an indigenous family in Ecuador. The "new variety" that he claims to have discovered is a variety of banisteriopsis domesticated by our peoples hundreds of years ago. And not only that, we would like to to know if Mr. Miller applied for written permission of Ecuadorian authorities to take these samples to his country, because Ecuadorian law prohibits and penalizes those who do not do this.

Moreover, we became aware upon receiving the information, of Mr. Miller´s intent to establish contact and film the Tagaeri peoples of Ecuador, a peoples that has decided not to have contact with western civilization, to which COICA and other prestigous organizations such as the University of Kent in England opposed. Please read and inform yourselves about this particular in the annexed document.

We have also been informed that, now, Mr. Miller is interested in installing a laboratory to process ayahuasca in the indigenous community of Macuma, in the southern Amazon of Ecuador. The actions of people speak more of them than their own words.

As indigenous peoples we do not oppose the development nor the research to discover new alternatives for the survival of humanity, but we do want that this respect forms of life, our cultural diversity, our knowledge, our cosmovision, etc...and that all paths be interelated to promote a model of development trully just and sustainable.

It concerns us that the Inter-American Foundation, an organization with which we have established an impartial, transparent and horizontal relationship of cooperation throughout many years, today demonstrates absolute partiality in defending the interests of a particular person in spite of what others think, such as in this case, that does not consider the opinion of the victims in this plundering. Is this the new policy of the Inter-American Foundation, or is it that throughout this time we were mistaken in respect to their nature and aims? COICA, in times of harmonious cooperation, expressed their gratefulness for the Inter-American Foundation´s support (Paramaribo-Surinam, March 18, 1995), now we regret how mistaken we were in the transparency of our relations.

Your letter states that the resolution of COICA is "reprehensible", why is this?: Until some time ago we would have believed in the carelessness of thought that the indigenous were children who would have to be told how to behave and be reprimanded when they did something wrong. We would like to believe that with the milenium that is finishing there is also coming to an end the time of paternalism, protection and colonial practices, but it seems that we have the sin of optimism.....

As millenial patient people that are, accepting of good advice, without importance of from whom it comes, we could have accepted some advice of a organization in solidarity, but in no manner can we accept that the Inter-American Foundation seeks to interfere in the internal matters of COICA and as it has done, in presenting us with a kind of ultimatum.

As peoples that are in the profound process of reaffirmation of our identities, we are not disposed to accept pressure, and less so, an economic order such as the one that was implemented to do with the education program of CONFENIAE that is supported by IAF. We accept the voluntary cooperation and impartiality of those that believe that the world has a debt to aboriginal peoples of America, but if the cooperation of the IAF means renouncing our principles, we simply do not need their assistance.

With the same right that the Inter-American Foundation has allowed itself to demand of us the change in the decision which was approved unanimously and in an appropriate manner by 80 delegates of nine organizations representing more than 400 groups of Amazonian indigenous peoples, we ask the Inter-American Foundation: Are you in agreement with Mr. Miller who has patented for his benefit a sacred plant, and collective property of Amazonian indigenous peoples?

This is what is in discussion, not only between the IAF and COICA, but in all of the world, and in many cases it is what defines who shares the necessity of coordinating efforts with indigenous peoples for the conservation of natural resources and the protection of the environment worldwide. The Earth Summit of Rio 1992, the World Bank, the IBD, the UNDP, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the IFF, the GEF, the European Union, the UICN, the WWF, the Inter-American Commission of Sustainable Development, etc... have recognized the large contribution of indigenous peoples for the development of humanity and the stability of the environment, and have stated that it is neccesary that their rights are recognized, as well as, adopted in new policies in order to strengthen cooperation with indigenous peoples. We regret that organizations such as the IAF, which at one time recognized these processes and strengthened this cooperation, has had to interfere in internal matters of the organization and they oblige us to change a legitimate resolution taken by Amazonian indigenous peoples.

We would be grateful for your response to this letter.

Antonio Jacanamijoy, General Coordinator

José Luis Jimbiquiti, Economic Coordinator

CC:

-Member organizations of COICA and associated organizations
-Environmental Coalition of the North
-Indigenous organizations of the Worldwide Alliance of Indigenous Peoples- Tribal Peoples of the Rainforest
-Climate Alliance (COICA-European Cities)
-Embassy of the United States in Quito
-Ecuadorian Minister of the Environment
-COPLADEIN
-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ecuador


INTER-AMERICAN FOUNDATION

An Independent Agency of the U.S. Government

February 23rd, 1998.

Mr. Antonio Jacanamijoy
General Coordinator
The Coordinating Body for Indigenous Organizations of the Amazo Basin (COICA)
Joaquín Pinto 240 y Reina Victoria
Quito, Ecuador.

Dear Mr. Jacanamijoy:

I presently write to review the themes discussed with yourself and Mr. Ramón Torres during the visit of Dr. Robert Shikiar and myself to the offices of COICA in Quito on the 3rd of February, 1998.

The purpose of our meeting was to converse about the resolution proclaimed by COICA at their Congress in Georgetown, Guyana in May 1996 inwhich COICA declared Mr Loren Miller, a citizen of the United States, "an enemy of indigenous peoples of the Amazon Basin", and prohibited his enterance to whichever indigenous territory of the Amazon Basin. This resolution also declared that COICA "is not responsible for the consequences of the physical safety of Mr Miller and the officials of his company if they enter to indigenous territory of the Amazon Basin".

As my colleague and I explained various times during our meeting in Quito, the Interamerican Foundation does not represent the private interests of Mr. Miller related to his US patent to develop and comercialize the plant Ayahauasca. However, as we also explained, the Inter-American Foundation believes that the resolution of COICA with relation to Mr. Miller is abusive and reprehensible, constituting a threat against the security and well-being of Mr. Miller as well as the officials of his company. To finish, we asked that COICA retract this declaration through a letter addressed to the President of the Inter-American Foundation.

You and Mr Torres agreed that the declaration of COICA with relation to Mr. Miller constituted "a threat" and that the declaration was "excessive and not appropriate." You also informed us that COICA would prepare a retraction of this resolution against Mr. Miller and his company. Lament, that the Inter-American Foundation as of present has not received a communication from COICA in this respect.

In conclusion, I communicate again that the Inter-American Foundation considers the proclaimed resolution of COICA in relation to Mr. Miller to be excessive, abusive and completely inappopriate. The Inter-American Foundation believes that the stated resolution constitutes a threat against the security and well-being of Mr. Miller and the officials of his company which is completely contrary to the values of the Inter-American Foundation and the Government of the United States.

Sincerely,

Adolfo Franco
First Vice-President and Legal Consultant

cc: George Evans, President of Interamerican Foundation
Robert Shikiar, Assistant Legal Consultant
David Valenzuela, Vice-President of Programs
Sebastian Lara
sebastian@eusnet.org

--- end forwarded text


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10 Mar 1998