Pure Maple Syrup

FDA Turns Around on Added Sugar in Maple Syrup

New Nutrition Facts Label, FinalThe wheels of government grind slowly. Especially when they need to reverse direction. But surprisingly, FDA did indeed reverse itself this week on a confusing bit of added sugar labeling. Maple producers have been howling about FDA’s plan to say that all of the sugar in pure maple syrup is “added.”

Finally, FDA relented. An update posted on the agency’s website announced:

FDA recognizes the complexity of this issue and is grateful for the feedback it has received, including more than 3,000 comments received during the comment period on the draft guidance that closed on June 15. The agency plans to take these comments into consideration to swiftly formulate a revised approach that makes key information available to consumers in a workable way.

A Happy Dance in Vermont

Vermont’s attorney general had encouraged Vermonters to bury FDA in comments about the absurdity of its labeling scheme. After the FDA relented, he released a statement:

I applaud the FDA’s decision to hear Vermonters on this issue. We all agree that consumers have a right to know what is in their food, especially when it comes to their health and safety. And, we also agree that common sense is a virtue.

Lately, policy reversals keep cropping up. Starting with sound policies might be a better plan. But when it’s necessary, a reversal can be quite refreshing.

Click here for more from the National Law Review and here for more from USA Today.

Pure Maple Syrum, photograph © Susy Morris / flickr

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June 23, 2018