House sour on syrup as sweetener

BOSTON — Who's to say if syrup is a better sweetener than, say, honey? Not Rep. Theodore Speliotis.

The Danvers Democrat, whose committee controls the flow of House bills to the floor, released a redrafted version of Rep. Stephen Kulik's maple syrup bill on Tuesday that avoided answering the sticky question of whether maple syrup should be the official sweetener of Massachusetts.

"I personally don't know enough about the sweetener industry to know if maple is the best sweetener," Speliotis, the chair of the Committee on Bills in Third Reading, told the News Service.

The House passed Kulik's bill (H 3735) without the official designation for maple syrup, but it still would declare March as Massachusetts Maple Month "in recognition of the vital role maple sugaring plays in the agriculture industry, as well as the culture, heritage and economy of the commonwealth."

The legislation directs the governor to issue a proclamation in March commending maple syrup producers for creating a "natural native sweetener and a versatile ingredient that adds unique flavor enhancing qualities to many dishes."

The bill now moves to the Senate.


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