Washington, D.C. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand introduced legislation that would make intentionally mislabeling food products as “maple syrup” a federal crime.
Currently, this form of food fraud is only a misdemeanor. Making these crimes a felony would increase sentences prosecutors can seek for those who defraud consumers and farmers by intentionally mislabeling maple syrup.
The bill is being introduced in response to a recent investigation where a Rhode Island man was marketing and selling a product as maple syrup when in fact it was cane sugar.
Cane sugar costs about 2 percent as much as real maple syrup. The bipartisan Maple Agriculture Protection and Law Enforcement (MAPLE) Act would increase the maximum penalty for fraudulently selling maple syrup from one year to five years in prison.