MAPLE Act Would Make Selling Fake Maple Syrup a Felony
Some Northeastern Senators want to make selling fake maple syrup a federal offense.
The Hill (“Senate bill would make selling fake maple syrup a felony offense“):
Six senators introduced legislation that would make selling fake maple syrup a felony offense leading to fines and up to five years in prison.
The Maple Agriculture Protection and Law Enforcement (MAPLE) Act is a response to what chief sponsor Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and others say is the increasing practice of cheating Vermont, Upstate New York and other maple syrup regions by selling inferior, fake syrup.
“I have been alarmed by the growing number of individuals and businesses claiming to sell genuine Vermont maple syrup when they are in fact selling an inferior product that is not maple syrup at all,” Leahy said Thursday. “This is fraud, plain and simple, and it undermines a key part of Vermont’s economy and reputation for quality that has been hard-earned through Vermonters’ hard work.”
He added that others in the syrup-producing regions of Maine, New York and other states also have been hurt. Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) are all co-sponsors.
Under current law, selling fake maple syrup is a misdemeanor offense.
Under the bill, S. 1742, selling fake maple syrup would be listed as an act of fraud that is seen as a felony offense, along with falsifying bank entries, mortgage transactions, loan applications and citizenship records, along with dozens of other activities.
Doug Powers is having a lot of fun with this one.
When it comes to sap, there’s no group of senators I trust more to know their stuff.
Selling fake maple syrup is currently merely a misdemeanor, but if the “Syrup Six” have their way, it will be a felony, and the following conversation may soon take place in a high security prison near you:
“What’cha in for?”
“Armed robbery. You?”
“Counterfeit waffle topping.”
His commenters pile on with such gems as, “Do you think maybe if we buttered those guys up they wouldn’t be so cranky?” and “I heard Eric Holder is involved by allowing fake maple syrup to be run across the Canadian Border — code named “Slow and Sticky.”
It’s true that the scourge of fake syrup is hardly at the top of the national agenda, what with a global recession, sky high unemployment, and more wars than you can shake a stick at. Still, this certainly seems like a perfectly valid case of Senators representing the legitimate interests of their constituents and bringing an issue to the national debate. Presumably, those who bother to manufacture and sell fake maple syrup do so on a large scale, so I don’t have any problem treating it as a felony; it is, after all, deliberate fraud. And, to the extent the sales are going across state lines, it’s actually a real federal issue. Vermont can’t very well arrest people in Arkansas for selling “Authentic Vermont Maple Syrup” that’s neither authentic, maple, nor made in Vermont.
Amusingly, however, I vastly prefer Mrs. Butterworth’s to actual maple syrup. I find the former’s taste much more complex and texture more conducive to coating breakfast products, whereas the latter is essentially liquid sugar and horrifically sweet. But that’s not marketed as “maple syrup,” so presumably the Mrs. is safe.