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 Joseph LeahyLawmakers, celebs honor Tony Bennett with Library of Congress Gershwin Prize Dem senator jokes: 'Moment of weakness' led me to share photo comparing Trump, Obama Leahy presses Trump court nominee over LGBTQ tweets 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.

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I have been alarmed by the growing number of individuals and businesses claiming to sell genuine Vermont maple syrup when they are in fact selling an inferior product that is not maple syrup at all, Leahy said Thursday. This is fraud, plain and simple, and it undermines a key part of Vermonts economy and reputation for quality that has been hard-earned through Vermonters hard work.

He added that others in the syrup-producing regions of Maine, New York and other states also have been hurt. Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsStates fill family caregiver void left by Congress GOP senator: ObamaCare fix could be in funding bill Collins: Pass bipartisan ObamaCare bills before mandate repeal MORE (R-Maine), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandDem: Ex-lawmaker tried to pin me to elevator door and kiss me In Washington and Hollywood, principle is sad matter of timing Mika Brzezinski: Bill Clinton needs to apologize or stop talking MORE (D-N.Y.), Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersDe Blasio headed to Iowa to speak at political fundraiser Yes, spills happen — but pipelines are still the safest way to move oil Why sexual harassment discussions include lawmakers talking about Bill Clinton’s past MORE (I-Vt.), Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerJuan Williams: The politics of impeachment Texas Republicans slam White House over disaster relief request Dem rep: Trump disaster aid request is 'how you let America down again' 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.