Chili’s is celebrating National Autism Awareness Month by donating 10 percent of its profits to an anti-vaccination group.
More than 1,200 Chili’s restaurants are participating in a fundraiser for the non-profit National Autism Association, which advocates parents not vaccinating their children because it triggers autism.
“While mainstream science discounts vaccinations as a cause, members of the National Autism Association feel vaccinations have triggered autism in a subset of children, and that an overly aggressive vaccination schedule coupled with toxic adjuvants in vaccines could affect individuals who have a family history of autoimmune disorders specifically,” the group says on its website.
The nonprofit says, “Vaccinations can trigger or exacerbate autism in some, if not many, children, especially those who are genetically predisposed to immune, autoimmune or inflammatory conditions."
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The one and only study that supported the connection between autism and vaccination was published in the journal Lancet in 1998 and was debunked when it could not be replicated by any other scientists. In 2004, the journal itself backed off, stating that the data had been misinterpreted in the study.
There are 49 cases of measles in California so far this year and 20 cases in New York City.
NAA reportedly sponsors a website called “Age of Autism,” which is virulently anti-vaccination.
Chili’s responded to criticism of the campaign via Facebook: “The intent of our 4/7 National Give Back Event is not to express a view on this matter, but rather to support the families affected by autism. Our choice to partner with the National Autism Association was based on the percentage of donations that would go directly to providing financial assistance to families and supporting programs that aid the development and safety of children with autism. We sincerely appreciate all of the feedback we’ve heard on this topic.”