A new bill would make it a felony to mislabel foods "maple syrup" when they're not the real thing.
The law, introduced by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), is designed to crack down on people trying to pass off cane syrup or corn syrup as pure maple syrup.
They say it will keep producers from defrauding consumers and help farmers who produce pure maple syrup.
Karl Wiles produces about 1,000 gallons of maple syrup each year at Cedarvale Maple Syrup Company in Syracuse. He has been in the business for 35 years and has had to compete with mislabeled maple syrup the whole time.
"It's always been a problem, since the very beginning," says Wiles. "There have been many attempts to try to discourage it, to try to prosecute offenders, to try to educate the public."
Wiles says he thinks the bill is a good idea, but he says consumers can also help themselves by being aware. He says a good way to check if you have pure maple syrup is to check the ingredients. If it's pure maple syrup, maple syrup should be the only ingredient. If there are a lot of ingredients, it's not pure.
If the Maple Agriculture Protection and Law Enforcement, or MAPLE, Act passes, people who mislabel maple syrup could face 1-5 years in prison.
Can you tell the difference between pure maple syrup and other types of syrup? What do you think the penalties should be for mislabeling? Post your comments below.