Surgeon General Nominee on Burger King's Payroll

Benjamin served on fast-food nutrition advisory panel

By Matthew Stabley
|  Saturday, Aug 15, 2009  |  Updated 6:39 AM PDT
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Surgeon General Nominee on Burger King's Payroll

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The King approves of Obama's nominee for surgeon general.

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WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama's nominee for surgeon general has worked part-time for one of the corporations keeping the youth of America fat -- and not from behind the counter.

According to financial disclosures, Dr. Regina Benjamin has received $10,000 since last year to serve on a Burger King scientific advisory board, the Washington Times reported.

The documents didn't say on what issues Benjamin has advised the fast-food chain, but company officials said she served on a nutritional advisory panel "to promote balanced diets and active lifestyle choices," the Times reported. You know, kind of like Big Tobacco funding cancer research -- dead customers don't pay.

She advocated for lower sodium and for nutritional information on packaging, according to Department of Health and Human Services spokeswoman Vicki Rivas-Vazquez, and she would resign her seat on the panel upon confirmation, as well as recusing herself from any party matters involving Burger King for the next two years, the Times reported.

In recent years, Burger King has taken a couple of healthy steps, like stopping its use of trans fats and offering fake french fries made of skinless apple slices.
 

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