Measuring up to the new normal

One of the key priorities of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is to monitor weights and measures devices being used by retailers to ensure a fair playing field. This year, MDARD is celebrating March 1-7, 2021 as Weights and Measures Week in Michigan. These dates are designated every year to commemorate President John Adams’s signing of the first United States weights and measures law on March 2, 1799.

This year’s theme is “Measuring Up to the New Normal.” With the COVID-19 pandemic changing consumer’s buying habits, businesses are adapting to stay economically viable. Consumer buying preferences are changing and the business community is adapting and so are Weights and Measures regulators to ensure fairness and accuracy in the marketplace.

“Consumers and businesses alike want to ensure they’re getting what they’re paying for,” said Gary McDowell, MDARD Director. “Our Weights and Measures program staff work to make sure there is accuracy in the marketplace. If a package or transaction is off even by a few cents, it can have long-term impacts on consumers and our overall state economy.”

MDARD’s Weights and Measures program is responsible for everything sold by weight, count, or measure. Inspectors verify everything from the accuracy of gas pumps and grocery scales to the content of the packages that consumers purchase.

Inspectors across the nation, including here in Michigan, have been verifying and testing scales and meters and the net contents of packaged goods for many, many years. It may seem routine, but it is a constant challenge to keep pace with new technology and marketing practices.

Consumers with concerns about any advertisement, purchase, service, or transaction based on weight, measure, or count may call 1-800-632-3835 to register a complaint.


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