This month, U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) introduced legislation to make the fraudulent sale of maple syrup a felony offense. The bill is called the Maple Agriculture Protection and Law Enforcement (MAPLE) act.
In a press release, Leahy stated that, “Vermonters take pride in the natural products our state produces, and 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 syrup at all. This is fraud, plain and simple, and it undermines a key part of Vermont’s economy. I know that hardworking syrup producers in Maine, New York and other states have been similarly hurt by this crime. Our bill will deter this criminal conduct.”
According to the press release, the MAPLE Act creates a felony offense carrying a five-year maximum penalty for fraudulently selling maple syrup that is not, in fact, maple syrup. Under current law, the sale of this fraudulent maple syrup is only a misdemeanor offense carrying only a one-year penalty.
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