NBC Comes Out Against Gas Stoves, Lobbies Heavily for Induction Tops

News & Politics

Amid the blow-up last week after an unelected bureaucrat with the Consumer Product Safety Commission floated the idea of a national ban on gas stoves, NBC’s Today came out against your freedom of choice in how you cook your food. During their Friday news show, the liberal journalists pushed the debunked study that purportedly linked gas stoves to asthma and lobbied heavily for people to buy induction stoves, omitting the fact that they could cost over three times as much as a gas stove.

At the top of the segment, wealthy liberal anchors Hoda Kotb, Savannah Guthrie, and Craig Melvin shared a laugh at how people were outraged and decried the floated draconian measure (click “expand”):

KOTB: We’re back with Consumer Confidential, our series around this time every morning, where we highlight stories that impact your family and your budget.

GUTHRIE: Okay, this morning’s focus, questions and concerns over those gas-powered stoves after a commissioner at the Consumer Product Safety Commission labeled them a hidden health hazard, even suggesting they could be banned. Everyone was really low-key about it.

[Laughter]

MELVIN: Yes, that’s right.

Correspondent Sam Brock joined in on the mocking and quipped that “their blood was boiling there for a moment … pun intended…” “The agency itself says it’s not planning on banning gas stoves, but the warning has kick-started a conversation right now about gas stoves versus electric or even induction with child health top of mind in this,” he said.

The first accusation against gas stoves he addressed in his report was the dubious link between gas stoves and asthma. Claiming there was “mounting research” that confirms the link, he pointed to “a recent peer-reviewed study from a prominent medical journal found nearly 13 percent of childhood asthma cases in the U.S., are attributable to gas stove use.”

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Brock failed to be honest and note that the study flies in the face of a 2013 study from the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood that found “no evidence of an association between the use of gas as a cooking fuel and either asthma symptoms or asthma diagnosis,” as reported by the Washington Examiner.

One of the study authors cited by Brock has even walked back their findings, telling the Examiner that the study “‘does not assume or estimate a causal relationship’ between childhood asthma and natural gas stoves.”

But what Brock did have was an anecdotal and non-scientific account from ONE mother who claims her son’s asthma improved after moving out of a house with a gas stove.

After trying to dismiss the outrage at the idea of a ban on existing gas stoves as implausible and impractical, Brock teamed up with the owner of an appliance store in Orlando, Florida to run an infomercial for induction stoves. The owner, Jeff Jaskot even boasted about going to Washington, D.C. to lobby for the forced adoption of induction stove tops (Click “expand”):

BROCK: Jeff Jaskot of Aggressive Appliances in Orlando says that electric and induction stovetops are not just safer, but more efficient, even if there’s less panache than cooking on an open flame.

JASKOT: So every chef in the world is probably going to kill me for saying this, but I would say induction is faster, is just as responsive, cools off quicker, easier to clean up. Sam, we’re going to Washington, and we’re going to tell the politicians we have a solution. Buy induction. Everybody can be happy.

“Wow. He’s clearly a fan of the induction stove there,” touted Melvin as they returned to the live shot.

Brock then proceeded to highlight the benefits of induction stoves by moving a pot of boiling, steaming water and touching the heating element with his bare hand, unharmed. “Look at that. Okay. Now, obviously, if this were an electric stove, my hand would be burning right now if it were an open flame, we’d have serious problems,” he proclaimed.

But of course, appliance store owners like Jaskot want people to buy induction stoves, they’re far more expensive.

According to a Forbes report from February 2022, the upper-end cost of a gas stove was comparable to the lower-end price of an induction stove. “Unlike electric cooktops, induction units can cost between  $1,000 and $2,500…Expect to pay an average of  $300 to $1,500  for a gas cooktop unit,” they reported. Comparing the low-end prices, an induction stove is over three times more expensive. And that doesn’t take into account the need for a consumer to replace all their pots and pans with induction-compatible, ferrous metal ones.

This lobbying against gas stoves was made possible because of lucrative sponsorships from Disney and Google. Their contact information is linked.

The transcript is below, click “expand” to read:

NBC’s Today
January 13, 2023
7:40:09 a.m. Eastern

HODA KOTB: We’e back with Consumer Confidential, our series around this time every morning, where we highlight stories that impact your family and your budget.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Okay, this morning’s focus, questions and concerns over those gas-powered stoves after a commissioner at the Consumer Product Safety Commission labeled them a hidden health hazard, even suggesting they could be banned. Everyone was really low-key about it.

[Laughter]

MELVIN: Yes, that’s right. NBC’s Sam Brock joining us with a little bit more on this one. Sam, good morning.

BROCK: Guys, good morning. You might say their blood was boiling there for a moment. Now, those comments, pun intended, obviously, are from an independent agency that protects consumers, and they have created some heated reaction. The agency itself says it’s not planning on banning gas stoves, but the warning has kick-started a conversation right now about gas stoves versus electric or even induction with child health top of mind in this.

[Cuts to video]

BROCK: This morning, comments from a member of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, or CPSC, have fired up a major debate.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN 1: Will the United States of America ban gas stoves?

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN 1: Can they even do that?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN 2: Are these people insane?

BROCK: In an interview with Bloomberg, a commissioner with the government agency called gas stoves “a hidden hazard.” It comes as mounting research links gas stoves to health risks when it comes to breathing issues. A recent peer-reviewed study from a prominent medical journal found nearly 13 [12.7, on-screen] percent of childhood asthma cases in the U.S., are attributable to gas stove use.

HEATHER PRICE (parent): It’s terrifying as parent to have a small child, a toddler who has asthma.

BROCK: Heather Price’s then two-year-old son used to need an inhaler. But when they moved to a nearby home with all electric appliances more than a decade ago. She says her son’s respiratory issues improved almost instantly.

Do you think there’s a strong likelihood that the reason your son developed asthma was because of exposure to a gas appliance?

PRICE: That’s my sense of it. It was the one thing that, you know, the big thing that we changed.

BROCK: While the agency says they are looking for ways to reduce indoor air quality hazards related to gas stoves, which also emit the greenhouse gas methane, they are not looking to ban gas stoves.

Still, states like California and New York are already moving toward prohibiting the sale of new gas appliances by 2030 in an effort to reduce emissions.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN 3: I think this is ridiculous, mostly because I hate cooking with electric stove.

BROCK: But experts say a nationwide ban is improbable, as are any forced changes to your kitchen.

PAUL HOPE (Consumer Reports appliance editor): It’s extraordinarily unlikely that any future ban would ever require somebody to replace an existing appliance. What we’re talking about is new construction, residential development.

BROCK: So, what are the pros and cons of different stoves from gas and electric to newer induction technology?

JEFF JASKOT (appliance store owner): Well, a lot of people, again, that grew up with gas are very comfortable with it.

BROCK: Jeff Jaskot of Aggressive Appliances in Orlando says that electric and induction stovetops are not just safer, but more efficient, even if there’s less panache than cooking on an open flame.

JASKOT: So every chef in the world is probably going to kill me for saying this, but I would say induction is faster, is just as responsive, cools off quicker, easier to clean up. Sam, we’re going to Washington, and we’re going to tell the politicians we have a solution. Buy induction. Everybody can be happy.

[Cuts back to live]

MELVIN: Wow. He’s clearly a fan of the induction stove there.

But, Sam, beyond the concerns over asthma, concerns over the environment, what do experts say, induction stoves, why do they say they’re so much safer? Why is it smoking so much there?

BROCK: Yes, the safety is here. Good question, Craig, because this pot is boiling right now. Induction, the reason it’s so great is it’s instantaneous heating. Unlike an electric stove where it starts at the heat source, then the glass, then the cooking vessel. It goes straight from source to cooking vessel, which is what you’re looking at right here as long as it’s a ferrous metal. Obviously it’s boiling. I’m going to move this pod. Now place my hand on where, you’re ready.

KOTB: No.

GUTHRIE: No.

[Brock touches stove top element]

BROCK: Look at that. Okay. Now, obviously, if this were an electric stove, my hand would be burning right now if it were an open flame, we’d have serious problems. If you have a young kid that comes by and accidentally touches this on an induction stove, you’re okay. How’s that first show and tell? I’m so happy that I don’t have any burns right now.

GUTHRIE: Yes, that worked out. Sam, thank you.

KOTB: Thank you Sam.

MELVIN: I just learned a lot.

KOTB: It did.

ROKER: That’s a very special pot. He’s got Brock pot right there.

GUTHRIE: All the parents watching, we’re like, don’t touch the stove. Brock pot, I get it. Yes.

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