For Immediate Release
Bayfield Man Convicted For Maple Syrup Misrepresentation
GODERICH - A Bayfield man has been convicted for advertising, labeling and selling a maple syrup substitute as real maple syrup. The charges arose from an investigation by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR).
On July 5, 2007, Drew Middleton pleaded guilty in the Ontario Court of Justice in Goderich, to four counts under the Farm Products Grades and Sales Act. The court heard that an investigation was initiated by MNR investigators as a result of complaints from members of the public and other maple syrup producers. The investigation revealed that Middleton had containers of a maple syrup substitute falsely labeled as "Pure Maple Syrup". He was marketing his product through several retail outlets in the counties of Huron, Perth, Bruce and Middlesex. Laboratory tests show that the product contained no maple syrup. The offences occurred between March 8 and May 11, 2007.
On July 19, 2007, Justice Calvin Hurst sentenced Middleton to a fine of $2,000 per count, for a total fine of $8,000, plus a victim fine surcharge. All detained products were ordered forfeited to the courts.
Regulation 386/90 (Maple Products) of the Farm Products Grades and Sales Act sets out rules regarding the marketing, advertising and labeling of maple syrup products. The Act is administered by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) with investigative and prosecution services provided by MNR.
There are no known health risks associated with products that have been distributed.
Anyone with information regarding violations of provincial
food and inspection legislation is asked to contact Jim Cushing,
OMAFRA compliance and enforcement manager at (519) 826-4391 or Crime
Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
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