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Dachel Media Review: Autism As a Pharma Football

Online newsBy Anne Dachel OurKids ad 2013

 The Dachel Media Update is sponsored by Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy and their OurKidsASD brand. 

It’s really hard to understand the uproar over Chili’s plan to donate 10 percent of its proceeds on April 7 to the National Autism Association’s efforts to prevent wandering.  Too often we see the tragic stories of autistic children wandering away and dying, especially by drowning. This is an especially critical work since the leading cause of death among those with autism is drowning.  

In fact, in all the heated mainstream coverage of this, no one talked about NAA’s role in protecting the lives of these children.  All that mattered was putting the “anti-vaccine” label on an autism organization. 

Emily Willingham at Forbes wrote, “Chili’s had made a particularly poor choice” in deciding to give money to NAA.  

Willingham quoted from the NAA website:

‘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. As with any medication, adverse events do happen, and vaccinations are no exception. Research to investigate, and reduce, adverse events in immunized individuals is currently nonexistent.’

Acknowledging that there are parents who believe that vaccines triggered autism in their children hardly makes the NAA an anti-vaccine group, but according to Willingham, it doesn’t matter.  

She took issue with the fact that the NAA states the following on its website,

‘Vaccinations can trigger or exacerbate autism in some, if not many, children, especially those who are genetically predisposed to immune, autoimmune or inflammatory conditions.

‘Other environmental exposures may trigger, or exacerbate, autism in certain children, especially those who are genetically predisposed to immune, autoimmune or inflammatory conditions.’

Willingham didn’t agree that there were any ‘environmental exposures’ that were found to be linked to autism. “Their list consists of factors that have been correlated with autism risk, not established as causative or contributing, with some more compelling than others.”

It was noted that the Forbes article had been first posted at 8:10 PDT on April 6 and at 2:30 PDT, Willingham added this update: “I have received the following emailed statement from a representative of the parent company of Chili’s Grill & Bar, Brinker International:

‘Chili’s Grill & Bar is committed to giving back to the communities in which our guests live and work through local and national Give Back Events. While we remain committed to supporting the children and families affected by autism, we are canceling Monday’s Give Back Event based on the feedback we heard from our guests. 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.’

“I appreciate their decision.”

It says a lot about Forbes influence that Brinker International would notify Willingham directly about their decision.  It makes one wonder if the decision was based on “feedback …from our guests” or pressure from news sites like Forbes.  

In the eyes of the media, the National Autism Association ceased being an advocacy group for parents with disabled children, and according to hundreds of news reports, the NAA was instead “an anti-vaccine charity.”  

The Los Angeles Times said, “The National Autism Assn. promotes that nonexistent linkage. Its ‘Causes of Autism’ Web page states its belief that ‘vaccines can trigger or exacerbate autism in some, if not many, children.’ It adds, ‘though published mainstream science fails to acknowledge a causal link’ to vaccines and other ‘environmental’ causes, ‘it’s important that parental accounts be carefully considered.’

“It's impossible to understate how destructive this approach is to the health of children. As we've reported, anti-vaccine sophistry has contributed mightily to new outbreaks of measles in California and the East Coast. Chili's blindly walked into this same quicksand.”

According to the LA Times, the very fact that the NAA mentioned that parents out there believe vaccines caused their children’s autism, makes them a dangerous organization. 

In their coverage of the Chili’s story, ABC News said that in addition to linking vaccines to autism, the National Autism Association was also guilty of promoting the use of chelation on their site.  Removing heavy metals as a treatment for autism, is ‘unfounded and illogical’ according to a 2013 study cited by ABC News.

Of all the media coverage of this, TIME Magazine was the worst.  On April 7, an opinion piece by Jeffrey Kluger appeared on Google News with the title, “Chili's Burns Anti-Vaxxers: That's What Happens When You Kill and Maim Kids.”  It seemed that it wasn’t enough to label the members of the NAA as “anti-vaccine,” TIME was also calling them murderers.  I’m sure TIME must have had a lot of response after publishing a headline that sounded like tabloid rhetoric at best, short on content, long on sensationalism, because within a couple of hours, it was replaced with Chili’s Burns Anti-Vaxxers — and Probably Saves Some Kids’ Lives.”  Kluger called the NAA “anti-vaccine kooks” and added that the National Vaccine Information Center was “far more odious.”

Since the vast majority of reporters do no investigating before they make any of their pronouncements about autism, there was no absolutely no mention of the fact that in February, 2012, Autism Speaks, the world’s largest autism advocacy organization, announced  that it awarded $30,000 to the National Autism Association in order to provide 1,000 of their “Big Red Safety Boxes” to families of children who were at risk for wandering.  

Autism Speaks vice president of Family Services, Lisa Goring, was quoted saying, ‘The National Autism Association has taken on a leadership role in raising awareness about the dangers of wandering and elopement for some individuals with autism.  NAA’s Big Red Safety Boxes provide the necessary resources to help prevent potentially dangerous situations, and we are proud to partner with the NAA to fund more of these valuable tools for families across the country.’

It’s hard to understand why a similar action by Chili’s provoked such outrage from the media.  Why didn’t Emily Willingham call on Autism Speaks to reconsider their actions in 2012?  Why didn’t the LA Times criticize AS like they did Chili’s? 

The lifesaving work of NAA didn't matter. The message to any business wanting to donate to an autism group—make sure they don’t support the claim of a link between vaccines and autism.  The message to autism groups was also clear: you can hold walks for awareness and light things up in blue each April, but you’re not allowed to bring up the cause—if it has anything to do with vaccines.

Maybe the big difference between the fact no one attacked Autism Speaks in 2012 and the vendetta Offit standing against Chili’s in 2014 is the issue of vaccine safety itself.  The claim that vaccines have serious side effects, including autism, can’t be stamped out, no matter how many well-credentialed experts appear on network news shows or are covered in the New York Times saying there is no link.  By 2014, it's now time to crush any opposition and use the media to do it.  The fact that Paul Offit was the keynote speaker at the Association for Health Care Journalists

 advising them not to give balanced coverage to those worried about vaccine side effects in March 2014 and a week later, every major news outlets expressed their outrage that a restaurant chain would donate money to “an anti-vaccine” organization seems to show that members of the media have their marching orders and they're following them.

Lee Silsby logo 09 The Dachel Media Update is sponsored by Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy and their OurKidsASD brand.  Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy is one of the largest and most respected compounding pharmacies in the country. They use only the finest quality chemicals and equipment to prepare our patients’ compounded medications and nutritional supplements. Customizing medication and nutritional supplements for our customers allows them to achieve their unique health goals.

Anne Dachel Book CoverAnne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism and author of  The Big Autism Cover-Up: How and Why the Media Is Lying to the American Public, which goes on sale this Fall from Skyhorse Publishing.



Re your numbers...and that's only the vaccines sold to the newborns each year. Add the vaccines sold to all the other aged children up through college.


They can attempt to crush the opposition all they want, but it WILL NEVER EVER EVER CHANGE THE FACT THAT VACCINES CAN CAUSE AUTISM. Sadly, this kind of media wristslap for Chili's will mean more kids will have to be harmed during the painfully slow process of uncovering the sad truth. They cannot change the effects of autism by denying a cause. When families fall apart, when houses have to be sold to pay for treatment,when professional moms and dads can no longer work, when teachers spend their days wrestling kids to the ground because they don't qualify for dx anymore to the tune of 1 in 10, people will become too afraid to trust anyone and it will be obvious that they did not and do not ever intend to find answers only to exonerate their beloved sponsor. They are milking the last of the cow. It has to end. They underestimate the power of the effects this has on all of us.

Chilibots suck

Autismom, AWAARE doesn't seem to list raw numbers and yet yet Ms. Fournier did state that over 60 children have died inthe past 4 years to wandering.
Lives Lost to Autism blogspot does list deaths and categorizes, too. How convenient that CDC or NIH isn't keeping track of actiual numbers just expressing percentages of children with autism who wander. Hmm, that's the same game they play with vaccine adverse events. They simply abstract these real children as 'percentages,' as though that somehow gives them some distance from the problem. Actually that gives me another idea- we should be counting children who have known adverse effects as raw numbers, too and doing the 'pharma body count.' That would be tricky though since the whole system is designed to not admit a child could ever have been harmed by a vaccine.

Chili-ing Observation

Hey Chili's and anyone else who's wondering why in the world this is such a big deal.

Let's do the math together:

10,000 babies are born in the USA each day.
That's 3,650,000 per year.

The pharma companies and the media outlets who are funded by pharma ads would prefer that each child born in the US gets 60+ vaccines.

At 100% vaccine uptake at $10 per vaccine/antigen that translates to:

$2,190,000,000 for the vaccine manufacturer's pipeline each year, and lots and lots of ad dollars for media companies. I'm sure the actual amount is a lot more than that but we'll use these #'s since they're conservative.

So that's more than $2 billion annually at 100% vaccine uptake.

But, vaccination rates are not that high and in fact they are dropping fast as more parents are increasingly concerned about environmental toxins and chemical/pesticide/heavy metal exposures to their children.

So for every 1% drop in vaccine uptake, the impact on pharma companies vaccine revenue is a staggering $21,900,000 dollars.

If 5% of parents stopped vaccinating, that's a $109.5 Million hit to the bottom line.

A 10% drop in vaccine uptake hurts to the tune of $210 Million dollars.

In pharma finance where the goal is billion dollar annually blockbuster drugs the vaccine numbers are a relative drop in the bucket.

But, and here's where it really hurts, the delay, selective and non-vax trend represents something even more pressing to the pharma industry. And that is the start of a significant dent in the cradle-to-grave marketing strategy for the synthetic chemical medical paradigm.

If parents avoid GMO foods, then they are likely avoid GMO vaccines and if they avoid synthetic foods, they will likely avoid synthetic meds for their children too. As more parents opt for a natural lifestyle, they will forego vaccines AND it would follow, all the standard, synthetic Rx's found in the average American families medicine cabinet.

The insurance companies already know this is a big issue.

They see that the most profitable customers in their databases are their non-vaccinating families. They spend the least on healthcare, they have the fewest prescriptions, the fewest chronic illnesses, and they do not vaccinate.

As the natural health and wellness tide rises, it's a threat to the medical status quo so much so that you see all these insane responses to events like Chili's support of NAA. Right now the industry still has enough money to pay PR firms, build bots and hire bully commenters to conduct their acts of social terrorism. Someday, they will be strapped for cash and the world will be better for it.

"There is great dishonesty about autism." - Donald Trump

"Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom."
-Thomas Jefferson


Isn't NAA tracking autism wandering deaths? They should have names of the children and real numbers.

Chilibots suck

Tanners dad Tim,
No there are not good enough stats on wandering deaths, there are only percentage figures. We need raw numbers. Don't these children matter??? Nearest I could find was a mention by Wendy F. that wandering deaths totaled at least 60 in the past four years. So that's one estimate.
The Jenny McCarthy body count uses raw numbs and so should we be for the 'chilibot wandering autism death body count.'


Fascism. When the media knowingly surpresses free speech and attacks those with opposing points of view. For Offit to encourage the media not to give balanced coverage, he is encouraging fascism. Congratulations Dr. Offit you are in good company historically. Doing the bidding of your corporate overlords at Merck at the expense of innocent children. You must be very proud of yourself.

fas·cism/ˈfæʃɪzəm/ Show Spelled [fash-iz-uhm] Show IPA
1. ( sometimes initial capital letter ) a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.

TannersDad Tim

Please correct me if there is any new research or reporting. There are very few current studies but I believe seizures are still the leading cause of death for those with Autism. Of those who wander and are lost 90% drown. I personally believe the connection to Autism in death is not consistently reported.

 Bob Moffitt

Anne writes:

"The fact that Paul Offit was the keynote speaker at the Association for Health Care Journalists advising them not to give balanced coverage to those worried about vaccine side effects in March 2014 .. and a week later .. every major news outlets expressed their outrage that a restaurant chain would donate money to “an anti-vaccine” organization seems to show that members of the media have their marching orders and they're following them"

Apparently .. Offit believes it is time the media "took their gloves off" .. and .. not only "demonize" their enemies .. "dehumanize" them as well.

Sadly, I suspect that Offit's speach to the media cretins .. will mark the beginning of an energized effort by the media .. to unleash a vicious attack meant to "demonize" anyone .. or .. any organization .. that DARES mention vaccines in the same paragraph it mentions autism.

I predict .. these particularly vicious articles in TIMES and FORBES .. will prove to be just the "tip of the (OFFIT'S?) spear" .. of what we can expect in the future.

In any event .. I found it odd .. the TIMES has always been very supportive of those who insist there is an ongoing "war on women" .. yet .. this TIMES article was written by a man .. Jeffrey Kluger .. wherein he did a pretty good job of "demonizing" women .. describing them as "crazy, swirling eddies of the Internet and the conspiracy blogs and the ACTRESSES and MODELS who refuse to vaccinate their children because it's "the best decision' for them, as shoe designer and TV star Kristin Cavallari put it.

I think Mr. Kluger could have at least mentioned SOME of the MALE ACTORS .. Aidan Quinn or Chuck Norris .. to name just two of many more?

In addition .. Kluger's example of "celebrities" that qualify .. to him .. as scientific geniuses .. were both .. predictably MEN .. PENN and TELLER .. who proceeded to demonstrate their "potty mouth" skills in a skit that was both .. remarkably stupid .. as well as .. humorless to anyone above the age of 5.

Okay, I get it .. FEMALE ACTRESSES and MODELS are bad .. Stupid MALE comedians are GOOD.

Still .. if Kluger was going just for laughs with Penn & Teller .. he should have used this clip from Canada .. which was MUCH funnier than the two idiots .. and .. it had far more "common sense" in it:


Well said, Anne!

Whatwilltheysay Whenit Happens2Them

I am starting to wonder if there is another powerful force that is supporting this kind of bashing.

Mercury comes from coal, and perhaps admitting that mercury and other contamination leads to brain injury when it's in vaccines, also reminds people that mercury runoff comes from coal --and its a proven form of brain damage that looks like autism.

As "Chillibots Suck" said above, the mainstream media is only making themselves more and more obsolete. People are listening to the families of victims, and people are seeing this with their own eyes, in their own families. People are starting to see this as an "us vs them" because they know that if their child or infant is hurt by a vaccine they are on their own. . . the more they bash us parents, the more people wake up to the fact that this doesn't make sense. . . Disagree with us? Maybe. But bash us, insult us, misrepresent us? People see this for what it is. And it wakes them up. . . I keep speaking out because the fact that parents spoke out 11 years ago is probably the only reason my son can talk today, because I stopped his vaccines at 1-1/2 years of age. I know we all get discouraged when this stuff happens, but our witness to the truth --quoted by the Ms Emilys of the world as if our truth were heresy--when their denial is the real heresy---our witnessing will ring a bell when Johnny gets a shot and stops babbling. The person who read Emily with self righteous anger at US will go back and read it again, because by stopping this Chili's event, she helped get publicity for the fact that there are in fact organizations that realize vaccines are not safe for every single child. When I see the mainstream media say things like " GM denies issues with acceleration" I might believe them until my car has an issue with acceleration. But the very denial gives me a clue. It's not like they are denying that their mirrors break, or some other thing that never happens. We don't see wood marketers constantly denying that wood has been proven to not cause autism. People are not idiots. In the long run, the vaccine industry is going to go down. Just like Penn State, their insistence on not seeing the truth is going to cost them far more dearly down the road than had they looked at the indicators to begin with, corrected the problem, and prevented future victims. When will organizations EVER learn that THE COVERUP IS EVEN WORSE THAN THE CRIME. And if it was just a tragic mistake, the coverup makes it an unforgivable crime.


Well,---- hump ----- I think the Dollar Store made a poor choice in picking Autism Speaks, but after further reflection - better to let this pass- and not complain, for such would appear ungrateful to a company putting itself out there for a good cause.

Chilibots suck

Except for the reality that many people simply have experienced or heard from family or friends that adverse effects can happen. People like Kristin Cavallari etc. will keep popping up despite their marching orders. They can play whack-A-mole all they want but the simple fact is, people talk. Not to mention that the cost is simply not sustainable or justifiable.
As I mentioned, I am seeing people getting tired of the "thought police."

Laura Hayes

Thank you, Anne, for shedding light on this incredibly sad, not to mention tragic, state of affairs in our country. Clearly, things apparently still need to get worse in our country before they're going to get better (if they're going to get better...that remains to be seen, as we are headed south in so many different areas, some of which are beginning to look somewhat irreversible short of divine intervention). Don't know what it's going to take for the majority of the public to realize they are being duped again and again when it comes to anything and everything Big Pharma, Big Chemical, and Big Ag-related. How much longer can people remain oblivious to the health and wellness disaster around them?

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