It won’t be official for months, but FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb outlined on Thursday a solution to a food-labeling issue that had honey producers buzzing and had tapped the ire of the maple syrup industry.
Maine Rep. Chellie Pingree said the FDA will take a second look at how it will identify pure honey and maple syrup on the updated Nutrition Facts label.
The FDA would be forced to modify its updated Nutrition Facts label, and give a break to producers of honey and pure maple syrup, under a 10-line rider in a House Appropriations subcommittee bill unveiled on Tuesday. Section 764 says the FDA cannot implement the new label if it continues to say honey and maple will be listed as added sugars.
A comparatively mild winter has meant an early start to the maple syrup season in the U.S. Northeast.
U.S. and Canadian maple syrup producers asked the FDA to stop food companies from selling products that claim to contain maple syrup when it isn't the real thing, says CBC. Maple syrup is made by boiling down sap from maple trees, while others are diluting the product with corn syrup.
The tree sap used in making maple syrup contains half as much sugar as it did in the 1950s and 1960s in the forests of New England, says National Geographic. "The sugar maple is stressed to the point of decline and many scientists studying this beloved tree believe rising temperatures are the cause."