Think back to the last time you had pancakes. You no doubt doused them in maple syrup, right? But was it real maple syrup?
The question is a serious one for two New England senators, who are fed up with imitation maple syrup makers fooling consumers into thinking they’re pouring authentic maple syrup on their breakfast items.
Last week Senators Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, introduced a bill called the Maple Agriculture Protection and Law Enforcement Act, or MAPLE Act, which would punish syrup makers who try to pass their imitation products off as real maple syrup.
“I have been alarmed by the growing number of individuals and businesses claiming to sell Vermont maple syrup when they are in fact selling an inferior product that is not maple syrup at all,” Sen. Leahy said in a statement.
The MAPLE Act, which aims to increase consumer confidence and protect the economic livelihood of New England’s maple syrup makers, would make the sale of fake maple syrup a felony that could send offenders to prison for up to five years.
According to CNN, the sale of fraudulent maple syrup is currently only a misdemeanor, with the maximum punishment set at one year in prison.