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NY maple producers ask FDA to crack down on falsely labeled products

Maple Weekend Facebook Page
Bottles of maple syrup.

New York is the second largest maple producing state in the country, producing more than 600,000 gallons of syrup last year, worth about $33 million.

But things are getting sticky regarding products that claim to be maple but do not actually have any maple ingredients in them. Organizations representing 14 maple-producing states are asking the Food and Drug Administration to review products they say are falsely labeled as maple.

Helen Thomas, the executive director of the New York Maple Producers Association, said some of those products include instant oatmeals, waffles and ice creams.

“We do feel that’s unfair competition to label something as maple if there’s no maple in it, or honey if there’s no honey in it, or lemon if there’s no lemon in it,” Thomas said. “Unfortunately in this artificial world that’s happening an awful lot. We certainly see a benefit if we can encourage food manufacturers to start using a natural real ingredient instead of artificial chemicals to create the flavor.”

Thomas said they are hoping either the maple wording is removed from the products or that manufacturers start using the real thing. The petition has been sent to all of New York’s congressional representatives and senators.

Tom Magnarelli is a reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area. He joined WRVO as a freelance reporter in 2012 while a student at Syracuse University and was hired full time in 2015. He has reported extensively on politics, education, arts and culture and other issues around central New York.