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Leahy, Sanders, Welch Lead Bipartisan, Bicameral Letter To FDA Backing REAL Maple Syrup

March 10, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Continuing efforts to protect Vermont maple sugar producers and consumers’ right to know what is in their food, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.), joined by 28 members of Congress, Thursday urged U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Robert Califf to exercise his legal authority to investigate and take action against products that falsely claim to contain maple syrup.
 
“Product after product is cited that touts ‘maple’ boldly on the front of the package, along with iconic images of maple sugaring, but show no maple at all on the ingredients list,” Leahy, Sanders and Welch said in the letter to Califf.  “These practices seem to intentionally mislead consumers who get cheap, industrially produced sweeteners and artificial flavors rather than the pure natural product they believe they have purchased.  At the same time, sugar makers lose markets and income while the premium reputation of pure maple syrup is damaged as consumers become used to inferior imitations.” 
 
The letter comes on the heels of Leahy, Welch and a representative from Sanders’ office joining maple sugar makers in Vermont to call for an end to the misleading labeling commonly found on products ranging from breakfast cereals to evening desserts.  Such labeling can cut into Vermont’s value-added agriculture economy while damaging the reputation of genuine maple syrup by flooding the market with inferior imitations.  
 
The bipartisan, bicameral letter was signed by 31 members of Congress. The letter can be found HERE.

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