The Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce (MDAC) joins the National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM) in recognizing the week of March 1-7, 2023, as Weights and Measures Week. Until President John Adams signed the federal weights and measures law on March 2, 1799, each state had its own system for weighing and measuring products in commerce. The unification and standardization of weights and measures ensures fair and accurate commerce across state lines.
“America is the world’s top consumer society, and everything we buy is sold by weight and measure,” said NCWM Chairman Mahesh Albuquerque. “People often don’t think about who makes sure the grocery store scale is calibrated correctly, or whether the fuel pump is dispensing accurately. That level of consumer confidence is our job, and we do it with pride. National Weights and Measures Week is an opportunity to recognize the importance of the very foundation of our economy and our American measurement system.”
“This week, we are proud to recognize National Weights and Measures Week and highlight the work our regulatory inspectors do every day to ensure equity in the marketplace,” said Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Andy Gipson. “Anytime someone buys a product sold by weight or quantity in the state of Mississippi, our agency is directly involved in that product exchange. So, when you’re checking out at the grocery store or buying fuel at the gas pump, be sure to look for the MDAC ‘seal’ of approval.”
Regulatory Inspectors from MDAC’s Bureau of Regulatory Services operate within rules and regulations adopted by NCWM, published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology in handbooks, and referenced by states into law. Those publications take into consideration state and federal laws and international standards. NCWM’s model standards provide highly sophisticated tools that aid inspectors in the never-ending process of equity in the marketplace.
MDAC’s Bureau of Regulatory Services inspectors work to ensure that Mississippians receive the goods for which they pay including weighing produce at the grocery store or buying gas at the pump. MDAC inspectors make routine inspections of fuel devices and on all types of commercial weighing devices including grocery scales, railroad scales, vehicle scales, and livestock scales, and those used to weigh precious metals and stones like gold, silver, and diamonds.
Inspectors conduct package inspections to verify the net contents of packaged commodities and price verification inspections in businesses that utilize UPC scanning systems. In addition, the Bureau investigates complaints involving weighing and measuring devices. In 2022, MDAC’s Bureau of Regulatory Services tested 10,623 scales and 63,178 devices found at gas stations, and conducted 1,383 UPC inspections across the state.
If you have any questions or concerns about the weight or quantity of product purchased, please contact the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce at 601-359-1100 or visit our website at www.mdac.ms.gov.