Maple, honey producers not sweet on added sugars label

EAST MONTPELIER, Vt. — Producers of pure maple syrup and honey aren't sweet on a plan to label their pure natural products as containing added sugars.

They say the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's upcoming requirement to update nutrition labels to tell consumers that pure maple syrup and honey contain added sugars is misleading, illogical and confusing and could hurt their industries.

"There are no added sugars. Maple is a pure product," said U.S. Rep. Peter Welch of Vermont, the country's leading maple producing state.

Others from Vermont's congressional delegation joined Welch at a press conference Tuesday. Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy and a representative from Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders' office were also there with some maple producers to discuss their plan to fight the FDA requirement.

Welch said that many consumers don't want added sugars, which makes them think of corn syrup or other un-natural elements.

"They want pure products," the Democrat said, "nothing more so than maple syrup."

Tom Morse, of Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks in Montpelier, notes that maple syrup comes right from trees and producers refine it to keep the quality high.

"It's 67 percent maple sugar and that's what it is, nothing more, nothing less," he said.

To address industry concerns, the FDA has suggested that producers could use a symbol after the added sugars daily value directing consumers to elsewhere on the label where they could say these sugars occur naturally.

FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said he has made nutrition one of his top priorities, and the Nutrition Facts label hasn't been meaningfully updated in decades.

"We've made it our goal to increase consumer awareness of the quantity of added sugars in food products consistent with recent dietary guideline recommendations," he said in a statement released in March. "The new label also contains the new daily value for added sugars, so consumers can better understand how foods with added sugars can fit into a healthy dietary pattern."

Large manufacturers would have to comply by Jan. 1, 2020, and smaller manufacturers by Jan. 1, 2021, according to the FDA's proposal.

The label with the symbol is still confusing, producers say.

"It's clear that when applied broadly this is an example of well-intentioned federal regulation that is totally illogical when applied in this context," said Roger Brown of Slopestyle Maple in Richmond.

The American Honey Producers Association says it could lead to consumers wondering what's being added to pure honey, when nothing is. Both industries say they work hard to protect their pure products from adulteration.

"Honey is a pure sugar so there's no need for added sugars," said Chris Hiatt, the association's vice president. "So it's misleading the consumer."

You may also interested in

Rural church among those providing aid after Louisiana flood

Aug 21, 2016

Rural church among those providing aid, including food and prayer services, after Louisiana flood

Delphi, Mobileye join forces on autonomous car platform

Aug 23, 2016

Auto parts and electronics company Delphi Automotive is joining with Israeli software maker Mobileye to develoDelphi and Mobileye plan to build a complete autonomous driving platformp the building blocks for a fully autonomous car in about two years

Some vacation spots quietly benefit as travelers avoid Zika

Aug 23, 2016

Zika fears are leading some to book away from the Caribbean and Florida

People also read these

Zika researchers seeking volunteers willing to be infected

Aug 19, 2016

Researchers looking for volunteers willing to be infected with the Zika virus as part of effort to develop vaccines

Officials: Zika won't hurt South Florida tourism in long run

Aug 20, 2016

The discovery of Zika-carrying mosquitoes in South Florida certainly isn't ideal for tourism, but local officials and business leaders are confident the long-term impact on the tourism industry will be minor

Some vacation spots quietly benefit as travelers avoid Zika

Aug 23, 2016

Zika fears are leading some to book away from the Caribbean and Florida

Emporium Post fulfils the need to know all things about consumers and how businesses can take this opportunity to reach their own customers.

Contact us: sales@emporiumpost.com

Join our mailing list now!