March 1-7 is National Weights and Measures Week
This year’s theme: ‘More than meets the eye’
ANNAPOLIS, MD – Every day, Marylanders pay for consumer products based on a weight or measurement, like a gallon of gas or a pound of meat. The Maryland Department of Agriculture’s Weights and Measures unit is responsible for ensuring those measurements are correct so that consumers get what they pay for. To recognize this important work, Governor Larry Hogan has issued a proclamation declaring March 1 – 7 Weights and Measures Week in Maryland.
“Our Weights and Measures Inspectors stay abreast of the ever-changing technological advancements in weighing and measuring devices as well as the latest laws and inspection procedures,” said Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder. “Their efforts protect consumers by ensuring fairness in commercial transactions involving anything sold by weight, measure, or count. They also help ensure a fair playing field for businesses around the state. Weights and Measures Week gives us an opportunity to recognize the important work they do for all of us.”
The theme for this year’s Weights and Measures week is ‘More than meets the eye.’ This theme highlights how the responsibilities in the marketplace have expanded well beyond simple scales and meters. In addition to testing gas pumps and grocery store scales, today’s weights and measures officials are responsible for regulating a sophisticated, fast moving marketplace. Their challenges include electronic and software driven devices used in settings from oil refineries to taxis to jewelry stores and for verifying that the fuel being sold to motorists meets quality standards.
Maryland’s Weights and Measures unit inspects 60,834 weighing and measuring devices in commercial use at 9,099 businesses around the state. In FY 2015, field staff conducted more than 33,314 inspections of commercial weighing and measuring devices, which include cash registers and deli scales, shipping scales, large truck scales, fuel pumps, meters to measure home heating oil and propane, and other weighing and measuring devices used to determine the price of a product sold to a consumer. The department also inspected more than 6,606 individual lots of pre-packaged commodities offered for sale and investigated 516 consumer complaints, the majority of which were related to gasoline sales.
For information on the Weights and Measures Program in Maryland, or if you think the “cord” of firewood delivered to your home is a short measure, the gasoline pump at the corner gas station is incorrect, or the weight or measure of any product you purchased is incorrect, contact the department’s Weights and Measures Section at (410) 841-5790 or email: email@example.com.
For more information on the Weights and Measures Program in Maryland, see:
- Video: “Getting What You Pay For at the Supermarket”
- Md. Dept. of Agriculture Weights and Measures AgBrief
- Photos of Weights and Measures inspectors in action, then and now
- Md. Dept. of Agriculture website
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