Bill: Felony to sell fake maple syrup as real deal

October 30, 2011 - 2:40 PM
Maple Fraud

In this Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011 photo, bottles used to grade maple syrup sit in a window in East Montpelier, Vt. To protect the purity of Vermont’s signature crop and to dissuade others from passing off fake maple syrup for the real thing, Vermont’s two U.S. senators and senators from Maine and New York have co-sponsored a bill that would make it a felony to sell fake maple syrup as the real thing and increase the penalties from one to five years in prison. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — A Vermont couple thought they were getting a sweet deal on real Vermont maple syrup when they found a good price for it online.

Henry Marckres (MAR-krihs), a maple specialist with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, says it turns out the syrup they bought in 2009 wasn't real at all. He says tests show it was pure cane sugar.

Marckres says it didn't take long for the couple from Vermont — the country's largest producer of maple — to discern a phony.

To protect the purity of Vermont's signature crop, senators in Vermont, Maine and New York have co-sponsored a bill that would make it a felony to sell fake maple syrup as the real thing. It would also increase the penalties from one year to five years in prison.