MAPLE Act would sting syrup fakes
October 26th, 2011
12:01 AM ET
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Syrup makers falsely passing off products as authentic maple syrup might soon find themselves in a very sticky situation.

Senators Patrick Leahy from Vermont and Susan Collins from Maine introduced legislation last week that would make the fraudulent sale of maple syrup a felony offense, the senators said in a statement.

“I have been alarmed by the growing number of individuals and businesses claiming to sell Vermont maple syrup when they are in fact selling an inferior product that is not maple syrup at all,” Leahy said.

The bill is called the Maple Agriculture Protection and Law Enforcement or MAPLE Act and if passed, would increase the punishment for selling imitation maple syrup to a five year maximum penalty.

Currently, the sale of fraudulent maple syrup is only a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in prison. Leahy said that simply isn’t enough to protect consumers and producers of authentic maple syrup.

“We need to make sure that those who intentionally deceive consumers get a trip to jail, not a slap on the wrist,” Leahy said.

Leahy said the bill will increase consumer confidence and protect the economic livelihood of New Englanders.

“Fake labeling not only hurts this growing agricultural industry, but also defrauds consumers who have the right to know exactly what they are purchasing,” Collins said.

The MAPLE Act is co-sponsored by Senator Olympia Snowe from Maine and New York Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand.

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Filed under: Breakfast • Local Food • News

soundoff (307 Responses)
  1. dogismyth

    holy crap....look at all these comments. I could care less about maple syrup. You SOBs must be really bored.

    January 23, 2013 at 9:43 pm |
  2. Pup

    I don't get it. Anyone who has had the real Maple Syrup, could surely detect a fake and not buy it twice.

    October 29, 2011 at 2:24 am |
  3. #OccupyTime

    Tick Tock Watch the Clock. Did you remember to secure the lock?

    October 28, 2011 at 7:28 am |
  4. TJW

    What about processed orange juice labeled as "fresh squeezed"? Yogurt that is 15 to 20 percent xanthan gum and other fillers? Same with sour cream? Does the FDA still exist??

    October 28, 2011 at 7:22 am |
    • lagne

      Any food outside its most natural state is "processed." Tomatoes: not processed; whole chicken breasts; processed. Oranges: not processed; orange juice of any kind, produced anywhere, even your own kitchen: processed. You get the idea.

      OJ can be sold as "fresh squeezed" because it IS initially fresh-squeezed – it's not a lie. Misleading? Sure. But not untrue.

      October 28, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • who do dat

      xanthan gum ? WTH?

      October 28, 2011 at 7:28 am |
  5. Pierre M.

    I even saw Organic Maple Syrup labels while I lived in the USA. In Quebec, where we produce 80% of all sugar maple products in the world, we call it PURE maple syrup. There is no such thing as organic maple syrup.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  6. Grumpster

    There is nothing better than real maple syrup. I'm actually tired of seeing the fakes and everybody trying to play the "real maple flavor" game, when all they're peddling is chemical flavored high fructose corn syrup. It's a lot like going in for a nice angus burger and getting a soy burger guised as real meat flavor. Sorry...if it's soy, it ain't meat. If it's corn, it ain't maple.

    October 27, 2011 at 9:05 am |
    • Treebeard

      And if it ain't Labrador, it's mutt!

      October 27, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
  7. mickey1313

    So, in your openion, we should let the companies get away with fraud (allready laws on the books for that), rather then stoping them, you are a dumba$$, these anti fraud laws should aply to every single product. I want a 4g cell phone that truely gets 4g all of the time. Not one that cannot get a signle in the middle of a major city.

    October 27, 2011 at 12:25 am |
    • joe

      The ads for cell coverage to state: "4G not available in all cities" Which legally does not require them to have 4G in any city.

      January 24, 2013 at 9:12 am |
  8. H. Lechter

    It is about time that something be done about Big Maple Syrup; those corporate goons have walked over the rights of all honest maple syrup producers and threaten the rights of all Americans with cheap, high fructose corn syrup substitutes.
    In fact, I would go so far as to recommend to our esteemed gentle-persons from NY that they establish a Strategic Maple Syrup Reserve, to be carved out deep in the granite of the Adirondack Mountains, although I bet those downstaters will get it.
    Forget the Occupy Wall Street movement, we need to tap, baby, tap!
    So, does this mean that we will see the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Maple Syrup? I can see the new official seal now, with the eagle clutching a branch of maple leaves. I can see the feds swooping down on farmer's markets everywhere to prosecute the maple syrup war.

    October 26, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
    • Grumpster

      Maybe they can get a sponsorship from Toronto Maple Leafs Hockey. GO LEAFS!!!

      October 27, 2011 at 9:02 am |
    • mike

      funny,mr lechter. now put your mask back on

      October 26, 2011 at 11:52 pm |
  9. Jim P.

    Seems that it would not be effective: If Consolidated Maga-Ag brings in a 50,000 liter tanker of fake "Maple" syrup from China or something, who are you going to put in jail?

    Better to make stiff fines part of it plus seizure of the bogus goods of course. Most of this is being done on a commercial level, not some small time guy whipping fake Maple syrup up in his bathtub.

    There's plenty of existing Federal regulation about stuff like this that can be used.

    October 26, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • mickey1313

      um that is easy, the CEO and the bord of directors.

      October 27, 2011 at 12:05 am |
    • H. Lechter

      Agreed, Jim P, that there are existing laws against this. The first time I heard of the MAPLE law, the article mentioned that the perp was facing an $11,000 fine and five years in jail for a mail-order sale he made. If five years is not enough for maple syrup counterfeiting, then what is? Note also that this law does not mention safety, as that is also covered.
      And we wonder why people dignify the Tea Party with any attention!

      October 26, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  10. da- jamma- jam- jam

    pokeman iz da beotch

    October 26, 2011 at 11:58 am |
  11. da jammer de do do

    can day pazz da law against stain pannyz

    October 26, 2011 at 11:45 am |
  12. ObvUsername

    For all of you who say "doesn't the government have anything better to do?", consumer protection is one of the most important things the government actually does! You may be happy with unsafe vehicles, lead paint, and toxic baby toys, but I'm not. And when I buy a product I expect it to BE what the label says it is. If not, that's fraud, and it should carry consequences. Of course, I'd rather see more general regulation on this type of thing – not just maple syrup...

    October 26, 2011 at 11:36 am |
    • mickey1313

      they shouldnt even be able to say maple flavored, my family is from vermont, I use real maple, and aunt jamima and the like taste as much like real maple as rubbing alcohol tastes like coniac.

      October 27, 2011 at 12:07 am |
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