Richmond, Vt. - Attorney General T.J. Donovan is urging all Vermonters to speak up and speak out against a new federal rule requiring maple syrup to have an “added sugar” label.
Donovan is asking the public to participate in an FDA comment period to illustrate how harmful the label could be to the maple syrup industry.
"And here’s our bottom line, it shouldn’t apply to Vermont maple syrup because we know that Vermont maple syrup is pure. We don’t need to add the label of added sugar,” said Attorney General, T.J. Donovan.
Donovan wants to amend the proposed guidance on the rule that requires maple and honey producers to have “added sugar” labels.
"Its bad for the industry and its bad for Vermont. So as Attorney General, what am I doing? I'm going to comment, I’m going to send a letter to the commissioner, the FDA commissioner saying exempt out Vermont sugar from this added sugar rule,” he said.
Local sugar makers gathered to support the Attorney General’s initiative and why they think the “added sugar” rule needs to be changed.
Sugar maker Roger Brown said, "Maple Syrup is a high-value product that commands a price premium in the market. When consumers think there is something added to it, it's going to erode that perception. We’re going to lose consumers, we’re going to lose customers to artificial syrups."
Donovan has invited the FDA commissioner, Scott Gottlibe to meet local sugar makers in Vermont and taste their 100 percent pure maple syrup products for himself.
If you’re interested in voicing your opinion on the FDA’s added sugar rule, click here.