Vermonters Blast McDonald's for Violating Strict Maple Syrup Law

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The Vermont Agency of Agriculture is apparently no slouch when it comes to keeping its maple syrup safe from imitators. (Last year, the state once again came in first in the nation by producing 890,000 gallons of the stuff.) Slashfood reports that the VAA is going after McDonald's for marketing a new product called Fruit & Maple Oatmeal, which contains no real maple products of any sort:

"What we understand, is there is no actual maple in the [McDonald's] product being advertised. Vermont maple law and regulations are very specific for how the term maple is used in advertisements," Kelly Loftus, VAA spokesperson told Slashfood. "It is illegal to use the word maple on a product unless the sweetener is 100 percent pure maple. Artificial maple flavoring should be clearly and conspicuously labeled on the principal panel with the term 'artificial flavor'."

McDonald's Fruit & Maple Oatmeal ingredient list includes whole grain rolled oats, brown sugar, food starch-modified, salt, natural maple flavor with other natural flavor (plant source), barley malt extract, and caramel color.

In a written statement, McDonald's says they are "currently in discussions with the State of Vermont to ensure that we meet any applicable state standards."

Vermont officials told Slashfood they contacted McDonald's on January 3, but as of this morning, had not yet received a reply from the company. According to WCAX, state officials will give McDonald's 60 to 90 days to respond.

Read the full story at Slashfood.

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Daniel Fromson, a former associate editor at The Atlantic, is a writer based in Washington, D.C. He writes regularly for The Washington Post. His work has also appeared in Harper's Magazine, New York, and Slate.

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