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FDA Announces New Approach To ‘Added Sugar’ Label For Maple Syrup In Response To Comments From Vermont Delegation And Others

June 21, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON (THURSDAY, June 21, 2018) — Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Congressman Peter Welch (D-Vt.) Thursday applauded the FDA decision to review comments in response to its proposed guidance that would require maple syrup, honey and other single-ingredient natural products to carry an ‘added sugar’ label.  Welch, joined by Leahy, Sanders, and 18 of their colleagues sent a letter to FDA Commissioner Gottlieb earlier this month asking the FDA to extend the comment period on the proposed labeling and noting that “The simplest, most commonsense solution to this issue would be to exempt single ingredient maple and honey products from the added sugars disclosure requirement because they do not, in fact, contain any added sugars.”

The FDA draft guidance originally released in February would require even all-natural, single ingredient products such as maple syrup or honey to have an ‘added sugars’ label.  Leahy, Sanders and Welch are concerned that the presence of such a label could confuse consumers, leading them to believe that these all-natural products are no longer pure.

In a joint statement, Leahy, Sanders and Welch said: “Vermont maple is the ‘gold standard’ of maple syrup and contains nothing but pure sap, straight from the tree.  We are glad that the FDA has decided to take into account the thousands of comments from producers, consumers and from us pointing out that an ‘added sugar’ label makes no sense for pure maple syrup.  We hope that they come to the sensible conclusion that single ingredient maple and honey products should be exempt from an ‘added sugar’ label.”

The FDA announcement that it is revising its approach to ‘added sugars’ labeling can be found here.  The letter can be found here.

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