Chili's cancels fundraiser with National Autism Association

By: CNN
By: CNN

CNN - The restaurant chain Chili's said that it canceled a fundraiser with the National Autism Association because of customer feedback.
While we remain committed to supporting the children and families affected by autism, we canceled Monday's Give Back Event based on the feedback we heard from our guests," wrote a spokeswoman for Chili's Grill & Bar Restaurant, a brand that is owned by Brinker International (EAT), in an email to CNNMoney.
The spokeswoman would not say whether the feedback had anything to do with the NAA's belief that autism is caused by vaccinations.

Many opponents of vaccinations base their beliefs on a 1998 study that was declared fraudulent by a leading British medical journal.
"The intent of this fundraiser was not to express a view on this matter, but rather to support the families affected by autism," said the Chili's spokeswoman.

The Chili's Facebook site includes comments in support and in opposition to vaccinations.

The NAA was originally selected "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," according to the Chili's spokeswoman.

On its website, the NAA says 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."

Related: The costs of autism to individual families

The NAA also mentions that unvaccinated children have also been diagnosed with autism, and the link between autism and vaccination is based on "parent reports."
"Though published mainstream science fails to acknowledge a causal link to any of these specific exposures, it's important that parental accounts be carefully considered," says the NAA.

NAA was not immediately available for comment.


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