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News Release

California Department of Food and Agriculture

Media Contacts: Steve Lyle, CDFA Public Affairs, (916) 654-0462 or,

California Department of Food and Agriculture
Release #09-011


Protecting Consumers from Measurement Inaccuracies for 209 years

SACRAMENTO – National Weights and Measures Week begins March 1 and will recognize the 209th anniversary of the first weights and measures law signed in the United States. This annual week of recognition reminds consumers that commercial purchases that are weighed, measured or counted can be trusted because of the longstanding weights and measures system that the United States has in place. From the price scanner at the supermarket, the scale at your local deli and even to the accuracy of gas pumps – this national system cultivates consumer trust by evaluating and testing commercial measurement devices to ensure that consumers get what they pay for.

In California, the Department of Food and Agriculture’s Division of Measurement Standards is responsible for ensuring commercial accuracy in weights and measurement devices. This role is conducted in collaboration and partnership with the County Sealers of Weights and Measures. In total, 350 state and county officials verify the accuracy of virtually all commercial gas pumps, scales, price scanners, and taxi meters within California – protecting consumers for measurement inaccuracies.

Californians spend an estimated 50 percent of their income on items sold by weight or count, representing approximately $82 billion in expenditures statewide.  National Weights and Measures Week recognizes the important role of weights and measurement as well as those individuals who work to verify and ensure the accuracy of these devices.

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California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814