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The Comments Are In — The FDA Agrees To Reconsider 'Added Sugar' Syrup Label

Bottles of maple syrup are lined up on a table, their nutrion facts visible, while Rep. Peter Welch and Sen. Patrick Leahy stand in the background.
Lisa Rathke
Associated Press
On May 1, Rep. Peter Welch and Sen. Patrick Leahy were at Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks for a press conference organized against the proposed "added sugar" label on maple syrup. Now the FDA is reconsidering the proposal.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is reconsidering a proposal requiring maple syrup and honey to carry labels saying they contain "added sugar."

There was concern the labels would lead consumers to believe the products are artificially sweetened instead of in their natural state.

The FDA said it will take time to review comments in response to the idea with an eye toward revising the proposed rule.

Vermont’s congressional delegation welcomed the announcement. Sen. Patrick Leahy, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Peter Welch issued a joint statement via email:

"Vermont maple is the ‘gold standard’ of maple syrup and contains nothing but pure sap, straight from the tree. We are glad that the FDA has decided to take into account the thousands of comments from producers, consumers and from us pointing out that an ‘added sugar’ label makes no sense for pure maple syrup. We hope that they come to the sensible conclusion that single ingredient maple and honey products should be exempt from an ‘added sugar’ label."

The FDA says it received more than 3,000 public comments in response to the proposed labeling rule for maple syrup and honey. 

“This 'added sugar' proposal just was pretty wacky by the FDA," Welch said. "And let’s hope that this decision that they’ve announced is heading towards revoking this 'added sugar' requirement."

Welch said it’s too early to declare victory, but the FDA’s announcement is an indication the agency is changing its mind.

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