“In recognition of the vital role California’s Division of Measurement Standards and our County Sealers play in protecting consumers and businesses throughout the state, I recognize March 1-7, 2012 as Weights and Measures Week in California,” Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. said in a letter announcing the designation.
Governor Brown’s recognition supports the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) Division of Measurement Standards and its partners, the county Sealers of Weights and Measures, as they celebrate National Weights and Measures Week.
Weights and measures inspectors play an essential role in our economic system by protecting buyers and sellers in virtually all sales of goods in the country. Inspectors monitor routine transactions in commerce and keep pace with rapidly advancing technologies to ensure fairness in the marketplace.
“California’s 150-year history of regulating weights and measures goes back to
the Gold Rush,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “Our marketplace has evolved from measuring ounces of gold on the simplest of scales to evaluating intricate mechanical devices and highly sophisticated, software-based weighing and measuring systems. Regardless of the methods and machines, though, the goal remains the same: ensuring the accuracy of our transactions.”
Technological advancement has transformed the world of weights and measures. Gasoline stations and supermarkets employ state-of-the-art weighing and measuring equipment. Railway cars and highway vehicles are weighed “in-motion.” Coal is weighed while moving rapidly across belt-conveyor scales. Weights and measures officials are also challenged with the development of performance specifications and laboratory testing of evolving fuel sources such as ethanol, biodiesel, biobutanol, and hydrogen. Regardless of the technology in place, inspectors are well-trained to secure accuracy and equity.
National Weights and Measures Week is declared by the National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM), which is a professional, nonprofit association of state and local weights and measures officials, manufacturers, retailers and consumers. In 1905, NCWM was formed to develop model standards for uniform enforcement from city to city and state to state. The organization has set the example for bringing stakeholders to the table to develop and amend national standards to keep pace with innovative advancements in the marketplace.