Petition Closed

Mentioned Monsanto in an email to my supervisor on Friday, fired by top brass on Monday, I'm petitioning to be reinstated.

This petition had 3,155 supporters

     SKIP (Sick Kids Need Involved People) is a non-profit organization.

     I was working with a 14 year-old boy in his after school hours. He is a person with special needs and special gifts. I was his Community Habilitator.

     He and I were supposed to begin our 10th week together yesterday. His mother is in my corner and has even asked SKIP to reconsider, to no avail.

     She told them I'm helping her son and that she's very happy with the work we're doing.

     Please read the email I wrote to SKIP which resulted in my being fired:

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Dear XX,
I think I need help resolving an issue at work. Today, I fed XXX XXXXX a Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Flavor With Other Natural Flavors Granola Bar. (A white-haired Quaker smiles at you beneath a hat as you eat.) The granola bar's wrapper advertises 100% whole grains & Other Delicious Ingredients. Quaker uses Monsanto's GMO wheat, the wholesomeness of which is dubious and untested at best. Monsanto is the multinational corporation that made Agent Orange deforestation spray used over Vietnam. The bar is filled with Monsanto's genetically modified 'corn': along with dextrose - a corn sugar - corn syrup solids can be found in the ingredient called 'peanut flavored chips'.

There's one artificial flavoring on the recipe list, a synthetic vanilla. If the ingredient called 'natural flavor' sounds vague, I gather it's because it's proprietary and the consumer doesn't need to know. Still, I have a lot of loyalty to this particular corporate brand, I trust the man in the hat. I have trouble believing he'd harm me. I ate a bite. It was chewy, I could taste the delicious ingredients. The benefits though don't seem to out-weigh the costs; a bar delivers XXX 8g of sugar - two whole teaspoons. That doesn't promote mental calm, especially not in children with sensitive systems. I know Quaker is not a mom and pop outfit run by abolitionist descendants of Pennsylvania's founders. I know Quaker is owned by Pepsico. I fed XXX more-or-less a soda that's shaped like a candy bar. And we all got to feel good because it was only 100 calories.

One of XXX's concerns is physically aggressive behavior, behavior that's potentially injurious to himself or to others. When I see BHT in the bar, the bar starts to feel less like a food recipe and more like a chemistry experiment. BHT, a preservative used in cosmetics, is in the bar? BHT is banned for use in foods in Europe and across the rest of the world because it is cancer-causing and because it causes reactions in children's brains that result in behavioral issues.                                            

This is all very difficult to talk about. The FDA doesn't seem to find any problem with Pepsico's Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Flavor With Other Natural Flavors Granola Bar perhaps because the former head of Monsanto is the current head of the FDA.

When we were children we ate granola bars made with chocolate chips and peanut butter, brown sugar and toasted oats, and 1 in 6,000 American boys had Autism. Sick kids need informed people. I have information to share and it's not exactly pleasing to share or to hear. Is it appropriate to broach the subject with XXXX, XXX's mother? And how best to do so? All I’ve told her thus far is that I’d like to start an on-going conversation about food, but that I don’t know how to begin. In short, some of the things XXX's putting into his stomach during our sessions fly in the face of the therapy I'm trying to provide. Are there other Community Habilitators who are getting informed about food and who have expressed an interest in collaborating on a framework to beneficially engage SKIP parents in healthy dialogue? If so, I would certainly be interested in helping to organize.

Thank you, 

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     Today, 1 in 50 American boys has Autism.

     We don't need to wait to make societal and institutional change.

     It's time for a paradigm shift.

     Please sign and share my petition.


At 200 Signatures

Thank you for the support and love you've shown me. This petition reached 200 signatures today - signers from 15 countries and 36 US states. Many supporters are mothers and fathers. :)

Einstein said that 4 years after the bees are gone, we're gone. Monsanto is killing the bees.

One of the problems we face in the USA is that Hillary Clinton is/was a Monsanto Lawyer. So we can't talk about Monsanto, what it is and what it does. We're not going to hear about Monsanto in the mass media. It's up to us to talk to each other, educate each other and ourselves. Millions of new voices are speaking up - and I'm happy we're a part of it!

There is greater context to my firing; I live in a country with 93 million unemployed; I live in a state that spends almost $100,000/year incarcerating a child and almost $10,000/year educating a child; I live in a city where most workers can be fired for any reason, without notice, or for no reason at all.

Philip Lawrence has been President of SKIP’s Board of Directors for almost a decade. When he is not guiding and steering SKIP, he manages portfolios of high net worth families as President and CEO of Inverness Counsel, LLC. He's the kind of man who has trained himself to care about the most secure and over-privileged among us. Is he well-suited to run an organization tasked with caring for some of the least privileged and most vulnerable among us? Probably not. Can a man focused on private equity make sound judgements about the public good? Probably not. To be continued. Thank you again, Matthew Swaye


Surpassing 2,500                   

Today makes 3 weeks since my dismissal. The petition currently has 2,715 signatures! Supporters represent 55 countries and all 50 US states!

By petitioning, I've made a personal/private relationship into a public/political platform. I'm moved forward by the comments of mothers and fathers of children with Autism. I miss the family and I miss the work.

At the current rate, half of US children will be Autistic by 2025. [] In the face of an epidemic, it need not be controversial that the mouth's connected to the stomach and the stomach's connected to the brain.

We can serve Big Pharma or we can serve the children, we can't do both. SKIP has been in the business for 30 years. SKIP's institutionalized conflicts of interest have turned such topics as food, toxins, and youth rights into workplace taboos.

I'm passionate, peaceful, and angry that our food has been compromised/infected. This petition is intended as a non-violent act, and as an act of love. Thank you for the love and solidarity you've shown me. Eternal Optimism, Matthew Swaye 

Today: Matthew is counting on you

Matthew Swaye needs your help with “SKIP of NY: Mentioned Monsanto in an email to my supervisor on Friday, fired by top brass on Monday, I'm petitioning to be reinstated.”. Join Matthew and 3,154 supporters today.