Maple syrup producers call on feds to investigate products made - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Maple syrup producers call on feds to investigate products made by Quaker Oats, Hood

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(WFSB file photo) (WFSB file photo)
LITCHFIELD, CT (WFSB) -

Lawmakers and maple syrup producers are calling on federal officials to investigate products that deceptively claim to contain maple syrup.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal said he'll visit the Brookside Farm II in Litchfield to tour its operation.

The farm is owned by Mark Harran, president of the Maple Syrup Producers Association of Connecticut.

Both claim that products like Quaker Oats Maple and Brown Sugar Instant Oatmeal and Hood Maple Walnut Ice Cream do not contain any actual maple syrup. The products are merely sweetened by sugar and corn syrup.

"Oatmeal, waffles, ice cream and even energy bars masquerading as maple syrup-flavored deceive and mislead consumers and cause serious economic harm to maple syrup producers in Connecticut," Blumenthal said. "These manufacturers are luring consumers with images of maple trees and iconic New England forests, when in reality their products are filled with artificial or other kinds of sweeteners."

Blumenthal said he stood with Connecticut's maple syrup producers in calling on the Food and Drug Administration to investigate all false and misleading labeling, and urge the administration to crack down on all instances of deceptive misbranding.

The senator said he joined 30 members of Congress on Friday in a letter that called on the FDA to take action.

Sen. Chris Murphy, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, Rep. Joe Courtney and Rep Elizabeth Esty also joined the letter.

The letter is signed by maple syrup producers in nine states and two countries.

Blumenthal said maple syrup production provides an income for an estimated 10,000 maple producers across 10 states in the northeast and upper Midwest, including Connecticut.

Before heading to Litchfield, he said he's holding a news conference Friday at noon at the Westmoor Park in West Hartford.

The farm visit is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.

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