Six senators introduced legislation that would make selling fake maple syrup a felony offense leading to fines and up to five years in prison.
The Maple Agriculture Protection and Law Enforcement (MAPLE) Act is a response to what chief sponsor Sen. Patrick LeahyPatrick LeahyDems get it wrong: 'Originalism' is mainstream, even for liberal judges Live coverage: Day three of Supreme Court nominee hearing Dems land few punches on Gorsuch MORE (D-Vt.) and others say is the increasing practice of cheating Vermont, Upstate New York and other maple syrup regions by selling inferior, fake syrup.
He added that others in the syrup-producing regions of Maine, New York and other states also have been hurt. Sens. Susan CollinsSusan CollinsFive takeaways from Labor pick’s confirmation hearing ObamaCare repeal faces last obstacle before House vote Live coverage: Day three of Supreme Court nominee hearing MORE (R-Maine), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandSenators demand Pentagon action after nude photo scandal Chelsea Clinton to be honored by Variety, Lifetime Ten years later, House Dems reunite and look forward MORE (D-N.Y.), Bernie SandersBernie SandersStunning polls show Sanders soaring while 'TrumpCare' crashes The Hill's 12:30 Report The Hill’s Whip List: Where Dems stand on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee MORE (I-Vt.), Charles SchumerCharles SchumerThe Hill’s Whip List: Where Dems stand on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee With no emerging leaders, no clear message, Democrats flounder Gorsuch hearings: A referendum on Originalism and corporate power MORE (D-N.Y.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) are all co-sponsors.
Under current law, selling fake maple syrup is a misdemeanor offense.
Under the bill, S. 1742, selling fake maple syrup would be listed as an act of fraud that is seen as a felony offense, along with falsifying bank entries, mortgage transactions, loan applications and citizenship records, along with dozens of other activities.
“We need to make sure that those who intentionally deceive consumers get a trip to jail, not a slap on the wrist,” Leahy said. “Schemers should not easily be able to sully the seal of quality that is associated with genuine Vermont maple syrup.”
The bill specifically lists what qualifies as real maple syrup: a liquid food derived from heating tree sap or mixing water and maple sugar. In either case, not less than 66 percent of the weight of the product must be “soluble solids derived solely from the sap of a species of tree in the genus Acer.”