Published On: Sun, Apr 6th, 2014

Chili’s backpeddles on donations to National Autism Association after customer outrage

Chili’s Grill & Bar plan for it’s April 7 “Give Back Event” has been canceled after a huge response from people who feel the National Autism Association’s views on the (anti-vaccine) vaccine-autism link is incorrect and unscientific and would choose not to dine at Chili’s again, according to the company website today.

Earlier, the restaurant chain planned the Monday event in honor of National Autism Awareness Month where they would donate 10 percent of the customer’s bill to the organization,  National Autism Association.

Chili's Bar and Grill National Autism Association flyer

Chili’s Bar and Grill National Autism Association flyer

Chili’s noted on their Facebook page Friday, “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.”

This caused a storm of outrage from patrons and potential customers who correctly note that the National Autism Association subscribes to the view that vaccinations can trigger or exacerbate autism in some, if not many, children, especially those who are genetically predisposed to immune, autoimmune or inflammatory conditions, despite some 20 scientific studies to the contrary.

An example of the comments are as follows:.

“You may not be “choosing to express a view”- but the fact remains that this organization puts forth a view on a significant health issue that is unsupported by any science, and is likely to have a major negative effect on human well-being both individually and collectively. My family will most certainly not be contributing to this fiasco.”

LISTEN: Vaccinations: What do Americans think?

“As a physician who would love to see autism reduced or eliminated, I examined the NAA’s website, and was appalled at the pseudoscience that I found there. Inappropriate and totally unproven accusations of causation do not help people with autism or their families, and certainly don’t improve public health or help to establish a rational basis from which to make autism less devastating. And when I think of the number of good nonprofits who could use this money, I could cry to think that, instead, it’s going to support the NAA’s “feelings” which have no basis in scientific thought. There is a Chile’s near my office, but I will go a little further for lunch from now on.”


“I will wait to go back until you pick another charity to support. Their view are endangering many and I won’t be a part of it.”

Chili’s wrote on their website after cancelling the fundraising event, “We believe autism awareness continues to be an important cause to our guests and team members, and we will find another way to support this worthy effort in the future with again our sole intention being to help families affected by autism. At Chili’s, we want to make every guest feel special and we thank all of our loyal guests for your thoughtful questions and comments.”

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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