Image via WikipediaVermont takes its maple syrup seriously. So seriously in fact that they want those that attempt to put fake maple syrup out there touting itself as real in jail. Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy is one of the proponents of a bill called Maple Agriculture Protection and Law Enforcement Act (or MAPLE for short). The bill calls for stiffer penalties on the sale of fraudulent maple syrup products. Presently, selling something as pure maple syrup will only get you a slap on the wrist -- it is a misdemeanor. The Act looks to increase the crime to felony status which would carry a 5 year term of imprisonment.
Vermont and its fellow New England states believe that not only it is unfair to genuine maple syrup producers but also to consumers who are being blindly deceived by false advertising.
As you may recall, Vermont recently took on McDonalds which was touting its Oatmeal to contain maple syrup, which in fact it didn't. Rather, it contained a syrup made mostly of high fructose corn syrup. Vermont was successful in getting the fast food machine to allow Vermonters the option of getting "real" maple syrup in their fast food oatmeal and making consumers aware that syrup isn't always what it claims to be.