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Maryland Commemorates Weights and Measures Week March 1-7

Governor O’Malley Signs Proclamation Recognizing 214th Anniversary of Weights & Measure Law                                       

ANNAPOLIS, MD (Feb.  25, 2013) – Every day, Marylanders pay for consumer products based on a weight or measurement, like a gallon of gas or a pound of meat. Ensuring that those measurements are correct so that consumers get what they pay for is one of the oldest functions of government. Today, the Maryland Department of Agriculture’s Weights and Measures unit is the agency responsible for testing and inspecting the 60,911 weighing and measuring devices in commercial use at 9,161 locations in Maryland. Governor Martin O’Malley has issued a proclamation declaring March 1-7 Weights and Measures Week in Maryland to commemorate the 214th anniversary of the signing of the first weights and measures law by President John Adams on March 2, 1799.

“Maryland Department of Agriculture’s inspectors continue to play an increasingly important role in ensuring that consumers and businesses have a level playing field in the marketplace,” said Agriculture Secretary Buddy Hance. “We want residents and visitors alike to be aware that there are regulations we work to enforce that protect and ensure fairness in commercial transactions involving anything sold by weight, measure or count.”

During Fiscal Year 2012, MDA’s 18 specially trained weights and measures inspectors conducted 40,886 inspections of commercial weighing and measuring devices, inspected and tested more than 8,200 individual lots of prepackaged commodities offered for sale, and investigated more than 580 consumer complaints.  Price verification inspections – which ensure that the price charged at the register is the same price as the one advertised on the shelf – were conducted at 169 non-food stores during FY 2012. In Fiscal Year 2012, Weights and Measures imposed $90,700 in civil penalties for violations.  Those penalties are paid into the General Fund of the state, not MDA.

Weights and Measures Week provides an opportunity to educate consumers, businesses and lawmakers about the quiet but systematic effort of the state weights and measures officials who have instilled so much trust in our marketplace. Citizens seldom question the quantity statement on a package, the scale at a check stand, or the gallons they put into their cars. The Weights and Measures inspectors are responsible for instilling that confidence.

For more information on the Weights and Measures Program in Maryland, see:

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Contact Information

If you have any questions, need additional information or would like to arrange an interview, please contact:

Jason Schellhardt
Director of Communications
Telephone: 410-841-5888

Megan Guilfoyle
Public Information Officer
Telephone: 410-841-5889

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