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Amazon Herb Company

Interview: "Amazon John" of the Amazon Herb Company

Thursday, September 29, 2005
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com (See all articles...)
Tags: Amazon Herb Company, Amazon Herbs, Amazon John

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Mike Adams: Today I'm speaking with "Amazon John" of the Amazon Herb Company. So, one of the first questions I want to ask is that a lot of people don't believe that businesses can do good deeds, and at the same time earn revenues. What's your take on that? How have you been able to make the Amazon Herb company rise to that challenge?

Amazon John: Well I think there's a whole transition and actually a gigantic market niche that's growing very dramatically of people who want to feel like their lifestyle and the choices they make are making a difference on a global scale. Many people are locked into jobs where they don't feel they're contributing to something larger and so, what we've found is that by actually offering a model that's a circle of benefit, that that circle of benefit has a very strong attraction for people. There are people who come to us exclusively for that element, and I think we'll see there's a big growth in green businesses now that everyone is recognizing that Wall Street and financiers and investors and startup capital companies and everybody else. They want to see a trend develop and then start funding and financing these things.

Yesterday, in the Wall Street Journal on the front page was a story of the guy who started his own organic yogurt company. He used to make it in his bathtub in the 70s, and he would sell it at his yoga class, and then it became a business -- people liked it, the stores started buying it and he started manufacturing it. It's totally organic, totally green, and it got so big that he opened up a new plant outside Salt Lake City. There were thousands of groundhogs living in the area where they were going to build the plant, so he financed thousands and thousands of dollars to find a new home for all these groundhogs before he built the plant.

Mike Adams: Wow. Good for him, he didn't just go out there and put cyanide in the ground.

Amazon John: Dean Foods is now over a $9 billion company, bigger than Kellogg's even, bigger than General Foods. The gentleman who runs Dean Foods has become particularly adept at buying a lot of small companies. The first company he bought was a $100 million dollar dairy company in Puerto Rico, and then he started buying lots and lots of small dairy companies and slashing the costs to make them more efficient, and you know, formed a huge conglomerate. So it's a billion-dollar deal and he saw this other company growing like crazy, and the milk business is a very low-margin business, and this is a public company, so he went out and he tried to make a deal with these guys and they said "No, our main focus is we're really green." And so they had to go back and forth for a while until Dean Foods understood that being green is really good, because it creates the kind of green that Dean Foods is always interested in, which is the cash.

So green was meaning green, and so they incorporated that into Dean Foods, and now the Silk brand of soymilk is one of the biggest sellers in Starbucks and grocery stores; it's everywhere. And the margins on that business were running around 20 percent; the margins on the milk and dairy business that made up most of Dean's products were around about 2 or 3 percent. So green means green today. A lot of people really appreciate that; they're willing to pay more or to pay more for a higher quality product or for something that benefits the planet. So there is a really strong economic viability in that, and I think that will continue.

I just see the consciousness of people continuing to evolve, where they're looking at the whole story. And they want to participate -- no one wants to overpay for something, but they figure they're getting real value for what they're doing. And they can sleep at night. And sleeping at night, and the inability to sleep at night is a billion-dollar business. Stress is a contributing factor to many chronic ongoing diseases, and it compromises a person's immune system, so this is a health benefit that people are recognizing, either consciously or subconsciously, they're recognizing real value and benefit when they participate, when they vote with their dollars on something that's good for other people.

Mike Adams: Let me shift gears, if I could, and ask you about some of the phytochemicals and research. Is the Amazon herb company getting into sponsoring any kind of research to further explore the medicinal value of the herbs?

Amazon John: Your questions are so timely! I just left Phoenix last week, and we were one of the corporate founders of Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine. I was one of the speakers at their very first graduating class in 1996. And last week was the second time I've been on campus giving a presentation and it was overwhelming, the response from the students. They're studying a lot of herbs, but a lot of the rainforest plants they're not that familiar with, and they're just hungry for it.

They've heard about it one way or another, and so we're supplying them a lot of data, we're supplying the school medicinary with thousands of dollars of product, we're supplying on-campus training for their doctors and supplying products for their interns and their clinic. They have a full clinic there and people from the community are coming. The doctors and the interns before they graduate are practicing. We had conversations with the director of research about two areas that the National Institute of Health is particularly interested in, and is calling out almost in desperation for things to reduce pain and inflammation. So much of the population is in pain and has inflammation.

Mike Adams: And now they can't take the Cox-2 drugs without

Amazon John: There you go, yeah! So suddenly there's a vacuum and a demand for something different. So they really want to see what else is out there.

Mike Adams: I've seen so many headlines that say, "The ban on Bextra" or "the Vioxx ban" ... "is leaving patients without options." And yet there are plenty of options!

Amazon John: There are plenty of options, yeah. And we're going to prove it, too. They've got some markers designed that they're looking for as proof, so we're setting up a study with them. In fact, I supplied two doctors who are seeing patients that afternoon that were in pain. These are going to be feasibility studies with Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and in conjunction with some physicians from the Mayo Clinic. And the feasibility studies, if they go the way I anticipate, will ramp up to much larger studies that may be partially funded by the National Institute of Health.

Mike Adams: That would be a major milestone, the NIH being behind some of this.

Amazon John: Yes. The feasibility study will provide the direction on that, and I am highly confident that we're going to see pretty much exactly what they're looking for. There's a whole series of markers, and I've asked the study to be designed in such a way that they're looking for other markers, as well. Because they're coming forward with a bit of a drug model: Pain and inflammation. But there are other markers that can be looked at, like some of the neurotransmitter activity in the brain for dopamine, serotonin uptake and things like that. The amount of suicides happening with antidepressant drugs is all over the news.

Mike Adams: I started out as more of a critic of the drug industry, writing in '98 and '99, and at that time people thought I was nuts to say that SSRI drugs caused aggressive behavior, or that statin drugs caused muscle wasting and things like that. And now it's headline news every day.

Amazon John: Headlines every day, every day. And recently there was the headline that they're adding another dozen things to the list of carcinogens, including several kinds of viruses as being directly linked to cancer. And that's a huge milestone, because we've seen that in the past, and yet there was no one that I could find from the traditional medical establishment who would actually go along with the idea that a virus could have anything to do with cancer. It's a wholly different mechanism. And now they see the direct link to the point where the United States government is adding those elements. It was herpes, hepatitis and several other kinds of viruses directly linked to various forms of cancer.

Mike Adams: And that aligns very well with your company's message, because the antiviral, antibacterial properties of these rainforest herbs -- almost every one of them is antiviral. From a lab perspective.

Amazon John: Almost every one. And many of them, I think, equally as important, are antifungal and antiyeast. I have met an oncologist who has told me, just face to face, that they have never seen a case of cancer that didn't start out with Candida and an overgrowth of yeast in the body. It just sets the biological terrain for cancer to show up later on.

Mike Adams: Also in the news recently is a lot of debate about DSHEA (Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act), and clearly that's a regulatory challenge for every nutritional supplement company. What's your take on that and how does the Amazon Herb company plan to continue on regardless of what happens with DSHEA?

Amazon John: Yeah, well, you're right, we're going to continue regardless of what happens with DSHEA! And DSHEA is a great thing, I thought DSHEA was wonderful. I supported DSHEA in 1994 when it came into law -- as did a huge majority of the population of America. It came in despite the focus groups of whoever was behind it, whether it was the FDA or pharmaceutical drug companies or whoever to discredit the choices that people are allowed to make when it comes to their own health and vibrancy. The American people spoke out in a gigantic way, and said, "Yeah, this is something we want. We want to have choices about these things."

So when DSHEA came into being it was a great milestone nationally; it essentially legitimized the dietary supplement industry. Post-1994 with DSHEA there are very specific guidelines as a dietary supplement company that we operate within. So when DSHEA came into being, there were still people who said, "Dietary supplements just aren't regulated." Well, that's completely false. They are regulated. They fall within the guidelines of the FDA. There's page after page after page of recommendations. What is a dietary supplement, what isn't a dietary supplement, what you can say about it, what you can't say about it and how you promote it to the marketplace.

So it is regulated, and the thing with DSHEA is, the DSHEA laws that require enforcement from the FDA, in many cases, simply haven't been enforced. So when people are going outside the guidelines of DSHEA and making invalidated claims and things like that, it can tend to give the industry a bad name. And the FDA, which has the authority, I mean the total authority currently, to go out and to stop that, in some cases has chosen not to and just allowed that to happen so they can pretend, "Hey, we should have tougher standards and tougher guidelines." That's the crux of the debate right now. The FDA has the complete authority under the existing guidelines and existing standards of DSHEA to regulate the industry as it should be. And they have chosen in some cases not to, and then they suggest that Ephedra has caused a couple of hundred people to die, when in fact they know there's over 100,000 deaths a year due to pharmaceutical drugs that are totally classified as safe and effective.

Mike Adams: And mahuang has been used for 5,000 years in China as part of traditional medicine.

Amazon John: Five thousand years in China. It's not something we choose to use, because if you're using really high-grade material, it can excite the nervous system. Not the modality that we choose to use. But just using that as an example of what they're grabbing at to try to justify that the numbers simply can't justify regulation of an industry that by historical standards has been extraordinarily safe, even with tens of millions of users, has been extraordinarily safe compared to the model that is totally regulated to where they actually have a designation of safe and has become the fourth biggest killer in the United States of America.

Mike Adams: Well said. That stamp of approval. I've often described this situation as nutritional supplement manufacturers not being allowed to tell the truth about their products. And even looking at your materials, at the end of every presentation: "This is not intended to diagnose or prevent any disease. This has not been evaluated by the FDA," and that's the current regulatory environment. I hope it evolves.

Amazon John: Yeah, we have to be very generic in what we say and at the same time, we are allowed to help people get access to publicly available documentation of studies and things on what individual herbs have done. But, yeah, it's really tricky to get valid, hard information to the consumer. And of course there are a lot of people, educational foundations and such, that go ahead and present that information. And that's wonderful, that's a great service, just having truthful information out there for the public. It's the wise way people are making their decisions, and then going out of their way to find supplementation.

Mike Adams: In terms of having business success with the Amazon Herb company, where are you now, with the big picture, and with embracing technology to help leverage your growth?

Amazon John: I absolutely 100 percent embrace the technology because the technology of course, ultimately, is one of the great tools to leverage where we're going and accelerate the activity. I see where we are now, a kind of analogy would be: When a rocket blasts off and leaves the surface of the Earth for the Moon, you expend about 70 percent of the energy just getting away from the Earth, and then you get up into the Earth's orbit, where essentially with almost zero energy you can orbit the Earth indefinitely. We're in the Earth's orbit now. Now we've got to fire the rockets to move off into the intergalactic space. There comes a certain point where a certain amount of momentum develops, and then you want to use the energy to just keep the rocket on track.

So we're actually quite aggressively doing everything we can to move out of the Earth's orbit; we're beginning to move off into some other intergalactic journey now. A lot of the infrastructure issues, challenges and obstacles that screen out 95 percent of the companies trying to get off the Earth's surface, we've solved those problems or suffered through them and somehow or other we powered our way through. We've got a model that's working and successful, so we just want to put on the rockets and the fuel in an aggressive way. We're adding people to our infrastructure in-house, and we're streamlining the activity for flight. We're really examining everything that's on our wings and all the stuff that's hanging off our wing tips and clearing all that stuff off and making a very simple, easier, more duplicable system that people can embrace and incorporate for the flight to leverage their activity.

Mike Adams: You mentioned people being able to replicate the model, replicate what works. How is the company then helping distributors be able to replicate and succeed with that business model and reduce the attrition rate that's inevitable in all businesses?

Amazon John: Yes, it's inevitable. Well, the attrition rate in this model of business tends to run very, very high, because no one's really bonded as an employee. People come in part-time and different things, so the attrition rate industry-wide is about 80 percent of people who buy a product or use a product are not there at the end of the year. Now, what can we do? We found a person who has been on the ground working with very fast-growth companies, who has experimented and spent a lot of money experimenting. They would mail things to people who dropped out, who hadn't ordered in six months, thinking, "If they bought one time, let's do some really directed contact mechanisms to bring them back." And they had very poor success. If they hadn't ordered in six months, for some reason or another they would continue not to order at that point. But what they found was that the first 90 days were really critical. They found that a phone call to the new person, a live person with a voice compared to the group of people they did not make a phone call to, increased the retention rate almost 40 percent -- the one phone call.

Mike Adams: Wow.

Amazon John: So, that was it, that's something that we're incorporating. In addition, with our new model of software and technology infrastructure, we'll be able to construct and build a series of contacts when somebody comes into the company. A series of bonding messages that give people educational information. You know, "There are some new studies that were done on this particular herb," or, "Here's something that's good that's happening in the rainforest as a result of what you're participating in." Just a series of communications with email, with hardmail, with e-cards, with e-voice. All of those things. We're scheduling a series of things to connect with people, just as a bonding mechanism to increase that retention rate. So that'll happen kind of globally within our network, within our system. So every distributor will have the advantage of knowing that's going to bond new people that they bring in.

Mike Adams: So have the phone calls already begun?

Amazon John: Yes. We're revising the actual script for that and having people trained on that right now. So this is all new stuff this year. It's very exciting. In addition to what we're doing inside is that everyone globally, if someone identifies themselves as interested in being more of an entrepreneur, you know, we can put them on a path to receive information about that, as well. You know, in the early stages.

Mike Adams: Versus a customer?

Amazon John: Versus a customer. Our revenue is 75 to 80 percent from the customers. That's fine. We don't want to confuse them with anything other than being a customer. We can allow them an opportunity to segregate themselves if they're interested in an ecological model of generating income streams. If they have interest, they'll be able to tell us that and sign up for the other stream of information on how to do that.

The other thing that's happening globally on the infrastructure side, is to have a simple model of a way someone can introduce Amazon Herb products, and allow them to tell the story of the company and the benefits of the products that allows someone to make a buying decision. We've done that with our Amazon party for success program. So, people who invite people over to their homes, now they've got it A to Z, completely spelled out. It's a totally scripted presentation that they can follow that has a clear beginning, middle and an end. And so in an hour, or an hour and 20 minutes, it's done and it's proven to be very successful for 70 to 100 percent of people. Once they're there and present with that and they have a question like, "How would I do this?" then they know how, because they just went through the same thing.

Mike Adams: Perfect.

Amazon John: That's what the training model is for. One thing we have now, is that anyone who places a $100 order can have a free website, a free Amazon website that looks exactly like ours, that has all the information, all the pages, all the links that ours does except that it's personalized to them so they can promote their personal website free, from us. We set it up for them, to anyone else, and then they direct traffic to that website when people buy, then they're automatically connected to their group. So they receive benefits from that.

Instead of someone going to the trouble of trying to set up their own website and everything, we've already got it done. It's free, we just take our name off, put their name on it, and they can go use it. In addition to that, there is what we call an Amazon "Power Net," a back office. It's a suite of tools that people can use to manage their business as a business. They'll have complete access to all their downline of people who have ordered, they can screen how many people came in their group in the last five days and they can run these queries and then segregate those people into an email list and email them, like an e-card, a picture of waterfall on it and they can create a message: "Hey, welcome to Amazon, I just wanted to greet you here."

Mike Adams: So they can email their direct downline.

Amazon John: They can email their direct downline. They can print it out on labels to do a hard mailing list. They can just send them a regular email. Or they can send them some postcards that we've got set up with graphics on them and they can just fill in the contents of the postcard and send them an e-card.

Mike Adams: So one of the main messages, I would think, to a new distributor, would be, "Hey! Use the tools!"

Amazon John: Use the tools, yeah! Use the tools. In fact, the presentation I was doing last night, which was specifically about the business, was that it's a sorting business rather than a selling business. So we just want to find ways to sort people so there's a constant stream of interested people coming, so someone is not wasting their most precious asset their time with someone who's not interested. So use the tools to sort professionally. Using different tools, different CDs -- we have a series of CDs and brochures and things to attract people, to educate people, and as a sorting mechanism to judge what their interest is after they've read through that. If they step forward and say, "Yeah, this is interesting," then once they've connected with the company, all that data and information is in the back office, like you said.

There are tools where they can manage their business with, where they can connect with anyone they want. How many people are in Montana? I'm going to be going to St Louis the next week, so I'll put in a St. Louis zip code. I'll send them an email. So yeah, these tools that we want to offer to all of our distributors are very critical now, and I think they really accelerate people's success.

Mike Adams: Thank you for talking with me today.

Amazon John: Thank you.

Permission is granted to all Amazon Herb distributors to use this article as long as credit is given to John Easterling and Mike Adams the "Health Ranger" with a link to www.NewsTarget.com.

The Amazon Herb Company is an eco-conscious company that has spearheaded the development and delivery of rainforest herbal products to consumers in the United States, Canada, and developed nations around the world. Author Mike Adams uses and strongly recommends Amazon Herb products, and at the same time, he has no financial relationship with the Amazon Herb Company and is not a distributor.

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About the author:Mike Adams (aka the "Health Ranger") is a best selling author (#1 best selling science book on Amazon.com) and a globally recognized scientific researcher in clean foods. He serves as the founding editor of NaturalNews.com and the lab science director of an internationally accredited (ISO 17025) analytical laboratory known as CWC Labs. There, he was awarded a Certificate of Excellence for achieving extremely high accuracy in the analysis of toxic elements in unknown water samples using ICP-MS instrumentation. Adams is also highly proficient in running liquid chromatography, ion chromatography and mass spectrometry time-of-flight analytical instrumentation.

Adams is a person of color whose ancestors include Africans and Native American Indians. He's also of Native American heritage, which he credits as inspiring his "Health Ranger" passion for protecting life and nature against the destruction caused by chemicals, heavy metals and other forms of pollution.

Adams is the founder and publisher of the open source science journal Natural Science Journal, the author of numerous peer-reviewed science papers published by the journal, and the author of the world's first book that published ICP-MS heavy metals analysis results for foods, dietary supplements, pet food, spices and fast food. The book is entitled Food Forensics and is published by BenBella Books.

In his laboratory research, Adams has made numerous food safety breakthroughs such as revealing rice protein products imported from Asia to be contaminated with toxic heavy metals like lead, cadmium and tungsten. Adams was the first food science researcher to document high levels of tungsten in superfoods. He also discovered over 11 ppm lead in imported mangosteen powder, and led an industry-wide voluntary agreement to limit heavy metals in rice protein products.

In addition to his lab work, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Through the non-profit CWC, Adams also launched Nutrition Rescue, a program that donates essential vitamins to people in need. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories.

With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving NaturalNews.com. He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power SCIENCE.naturalnews.com, a massive research resource featuring over 10 million scientific studies.

Adams is well known for his incredibly popular consumer activism video blowing the lid on fake blueberries used throughout the food supply. He has also exposed "strange fibers" found in Chicken McNuggets, fake academic credentials of so-called health "gurus," dangerous "detox" products imported as battery acid and sold for oral consumption, fake acai berry scams, the California raw milk raids, the vaccine research fraud revealed by industry whistleblowers and many other topics.

Adams has also helped defend the rights of home gardeners and protect the medical freedom rights of parents. Adams is widely recognized to have made a remarkable global impact on issues like GMOs, vaccines, nutrition therapies, human consciousness.

In addition to his activism, Adams is an accomplished musician who has released over a dozen popular songs covering a variety of activism topics.

Click here to read a more detailed bio on Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, at HealthRanger.com.

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