FDA Attempts to Sap the Maple Syrup Industry

maple syrup in glass bottle on wooden table

The FDA has proposed a new rule which would require maple syrup and honey producers to label their products with “sugar added”. That’s right, the sweet, pure goodness of the trees (and bees) could been stickered with a misleading label. Concerned about what this label could mean for the sugarers and honeymakers, we sent a comment to the FDA. Clean Yield’s comments are included below.
Clean Yield comment to FDA regarding maple syrup and honey labeling, June 2018
As an investment advisor which invests in local food systems on behalf of our clients, we urge the FDA not to require “sugar added” labeling to maple syrup and honey products. While we appreciate the FDA’s intention to provide information to help consumers make more informed choices regarding sugar intake, we believe adding “sugar added” to maple syrup and honey products is a poor way to go about this. Labeling these pure products as having “sugar added” seems to indicate that sugar has been added in the making of the finished products – which it has not. This labeling would be confusing and misleading to consumers. Further, it would cloud the distinction between maple flavored syrups, which are full of sweeteners, from real maple syrup and honey – which are pure products. Ultimately, we fear, this unnecessary and confusing labeling could negatively impact the market for these products, which are an important part of local economies and food systems in the Northeast.