Congresswoman Chellie Pingree

Representing the 1st District of Maine

Pingree Says FDA Seems to Be Heading in Right Direction on Nutrition Facts for Pure Maple Syrup & Honey

Sep 6, 2018
Press Release

Washington, D.C.—Congresswoman Chellie Pingree released the following statement today in response to an update provided by FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb  on the agency’s plans to revise its guidance for “added sugars” on packages of pure maple syrup and honey. Pingree has been a vocal advocate for rewriting confusing guidance that was issued earlier this year.

“The FDA seems to be headed in the right direction on its updated nutrition labels for pure maple syrup and honey. From what Dr. Gottlieb said, I think the agency has gotten the message that its proposal would have caused confusion for consumers and hurt producers by wrongly implying that these natural products contain added sugars. 

"I fully support the FDA’s initiative to update nutrition labeling and help consumers make more informed decisions about their health, which includes shining a light on how much sugar manufacturers add to the products we buy. But bees and trees are the only things putting sugar in honey and maple syrup. Any label implying otherwise will lead consumers to believe they’re not getting the natural product they’re paying for. The common sense answer is to not list 'added sugars' at all on these products, and, hopefully, that’s what the FDA will do in the end.” 

In his update, provided here in full, Gottlieb said, "This guidance will provide a path forward for pure, single-ingredient ‘packaged as such’ products that does not involve the standard ‘added sugars’ declaration on the Nutrition Facts label.”

Since the agency released draft guidance that would have required listing the content of maple syrup and honey under “added sugars,” Pingree has pushed Gottlieb to reconsider in meetings and hearings. She also worked to pass language in the House Appropriations Committee to prohibit federal funds from being used to implement the draft guidance.

FDA announced in June that it would review the guidance and expects it to be finalized by early next year.