LINCOLN, Neb.--()--American consumers have the luxury of buying with a degree of confidence that they are getting what they pay for and business owners assume they are competing on a level playing field, all due to the diligence of state and local weights and measures inspectors. The National Conference on Weights and Measures celebrates these public servants each year with Weights and Measures Week, March 1-7.
“A few pennies on every transaction can add up to enormous differences in profits for retailers. This is why retailers also depend on unbiased, independent regulatory oversight to ensure a level playing field in competition”
The theme for Weights and Measures Week 2013 is “Common Cents.” NCWM Chairman Stephen Benjamin wants people to understand that funding for weights and measure regulatory agencies provides an incredible payback for taxpayers. “Weights and measures enforcement has been a fundamental role of civilized governments for 5,000 years,” said Benjamin. “Accuracy in commerce serves the common interest of every person and every business owner, and it comes at a very affordable cost to taxpayers, often just pennies per year. This is why I like to say that weights and measures enforcement makes ‘common cents.’”
According to state reports, costs for weights and measures enforcement can vary significantly from one state to another, but on average it costs each resident only about 70 cents per year for this fundamental regulatory presence in the marketplace. Benjamin who is director of the Standards Division of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, points out that you can lose more than that on a single package of short-weight ground beef or a few gallons of mis-measured gasoline. “A few pennies on every transaction can add up to enormous differences in profits for retailers. This is why retailers also depend on unbiased, independent regulatory oversight to ensure a level playing field in competition,” said Benjamin.
The date for Weights and Measures Week commemorates the signing of the first United States weights and measures law by John Adams on March 2, 1799. Since then, there have been advancements from mechanical devices to highly sophisticated, software-based weighing and measuring instruments. Today’s inspectors represent a new generation of trained professionals with expertise ranging from software security to motor fuel chemistry.
The National Conference on Weights and Measures is a professional nonprofit association of state and local weights and measures officials, federal agencies, manufacturers, retailers and consumers. NCWM has developed national weights and measures standards since 1905. The organization brings the right interests together to keep pace with innovative advancements in the marketplace.