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 Leahy (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.
“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 Vermont’s 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 Collins (R-Maine), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) are all co-sponsors.
Under current law, selling fake maple syrup is a misdemeanor offense.
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