HUFFINGTON POST
10/26/2011 09:54 am ET | Updated Dec 26, 2011

MAPLE Act: Selling Fake Maple Syrup Would Be Felony Under Proposed Law

New Englanders have always been adamant that fake maple syrup has no place on the breakfast table. Now they are making sure that will be the case. New legislation would make the sale of fraudulent maple syrup a felony offense with up to a five year maximum penalty. Currently, it is only a misdemeanor. The MAPLE (Maple Agriculture Protection and Law Enforcement ) Act aims to protect the producers of maple syrup -- the process for making everyone's favorite pancake topping is time- and labor-intensive.

The MAPLE Act was introduced last week, shortly after a USA investigation discovered that a Rhode Island man was selling "maple syrup" entirely made from cheaper cane syrup. Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy is the chief sponsor of the legislation, with Senators Susan Collins (Maine), Kirsten Gillibrand (New York), Bernie Sanders (Vermont), Charles Schumer (New York) and Olympia Snowe (Maine) also co-sponsoring.

In 2011, Vermont produced 1,140,000 gallons of maple syrup, a 28 percent increase from the previous year. The total U.S. production was 2,790,000 million gallons.

Learn more about the MAPLE Act and Vermont maple syrup in the CNN video below.