Major Victory for Maine Maple Syrup and Honey Producers Secured by Senator Collins

Senator Collins’ amendment would prevent the FDA from imposing a misleading labeling requirement on pure maple syrup and honey

Washington, D.C.—In a significant win for Maine’s maple syrup and honey producers, an amendment authored by U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) to prevent a confusing labeling requirement from going into effect was included in the appropriations minibus that passed the Senate today by a vote of 92 to 6.  If the FDA’s labeling requirement is allowed to move forward, it could have a devastating impact on Mainers who are employed in the maple syrup and honey industries.

 

As a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Collins successfully fought to include her amendment, which was cosponsored by Senator Angus King (I-ME), in the appropriations minibus.  The legislation now heads to a conference committee to reconcile differences between the Senate and House bills before heading to the President’s desk to be signed into law.

 

Senator Collins’ amendment would protect pure maple syrup and honey producers from a misguided Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rule that would require single-ingredient sweeteners to have an “added sugar” label. Under the requirement, all sugar in these products would be denoted as “added sugar.” This could mislead consumers into believing that pure maple syrup includes high fructose corn syrup or cane sugar.  Senator Collins’ amendment would still support public health by retaining the FDA’s ability to state the percent daily value of sugars the products contain.

 

“My commonsense amendment will prevent the harmful consequences the FDA’s labeling rule would have had on Maine’s maple syrup and honey producers.  Although the FDA’s rule was well-intentioned, it would have created widespread consumer confusion and negatively affected many family-owned businesses,” said Senator Collins.  “While I am grateful that FDA has acknowledged the serious concerns expressed in public comments and by Members of Congress and has pledged to revise its approach, my amendment will ensure this misguided labeling requirement does not move forward.

 

In June, Senator Collins met with MaryAnne Kinney, the owner of Kinney Sugar House in Knox, who informed Senator Collins how the FDA’s proposed labeling rule would impact her business and other Mainers employed in the maple syrup and honey industries.  Senator Collins raised these concerns directly with FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, who pledged to work with stakeholders to address this issue.