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CNN's Gupta: A Surgeon General Who Backs an Obesity Tax?

Media analyst Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post reported on Jan. 6 that President-elect Barack Obama has asked CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta to be the next surgeon general.

 

According to Kurtz’s column, Gupta, a neurosurgeon who has worked as a CNN and CBS medical correspondent, “told administration officials that he wants the job.”

 

A look into the Business & Media Institute archives revealed that Gupta thinks iPods are potentially dangerous to “breathe,” tax increases are okay for the sake of the war on obesity, and the federal food grant program WIC isn’t large enough.

 

    Gupta supported the plan of San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom to impose a tax on drinks sweetened with “cheap” corn syrup in order to fight the “obesity epidemic.” Dec. 18, 2007 “American Morning.” At that time the price of corn was actually at an 11-year high.

 

    On Nov. 9, 2007, CNN paged Dr. Gupta about “IPOD & IPHONE DANGER.” Gupta reported that the cord connecting the earbuds to an iPod or iPhone contain phthalates and “may hinder the sexual development of mammals.” CNN “American Morning” co-host John Roberts pointed out that the rodents in the study were fed the plastics and summarized the takeaway for viewers: “Don’t Eat Your iPhone or your earbuds.” “Or breathe it in,” Gupta replied.

 

    Gupta complained in April 2007 that the federal grant program Women, Infants and Children (WIC) was being “slashed” by the Bush administration. According to Gupta the proposed budget of $5.4 billion in 2008 for the food grant program wasn’t large enough. The 2007 budget was $5.2 billion.

 

    Gupta ate up a South L.A. councilwoman’s plan to force her constituents to eat better by banning new fast-food restaurants. “[A]lthough obesity may not be eliminated entirely, studies show zoning laws are a good first step to fighting the problem,” Gupta said on “American Morning” Nov. 16, 2007.