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Tennessee Recognizes National Weights & Measures Week

Thursday, February 21, 2008 | 06:00pm

Nashville, Tenn. – Tennessee is joining the National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM) in recognizing National Weights & Measures Week, March 1-7, to remind consumers and businesses of the importance of equity in the marketplace. For more than 100 years, Tennessee’s Department of Agriculture has ensured that all products sold by weight, measure or count are labeled accurately and correctly.

“Our weights and measures inspectors work to protect our economy and system of commerce for both consumers and merchants,” said state Agriculture Commissioner Ken Givens. “Everyone has a direct financial stake in knowing all transactions are fair.”

Tennessee, like many other states, partners with NCWM to create fair and equitable national standards. State weights and measures officials ensure that these standards are met by conducting inspections of weighing and measuring devices at various establishments across the state. Officials also help ensure products and services sold by weight or measure complies with state laws by performing random price verification and net weight inspections.

“Every year, more than 16,500 scales and nearly 85,000 motor fuel pumps are inspected,” said TDA Weights and Measures administrator Bob Williams. “These unannounced inspections protect both the consumer and industry.”

Even with these inspections and a more than 90 percent compliance rate, it is important for consumers to know and understand their role by observing basic practices when purchasing goods involving weights and measures.

TDA has tips to help protect consumers:

1.      Check that pumps and scales always begin on zero prior to the start of the transaction.

2.      Note that all packaged commodities should clearly state the net quantity (ounces, pounds, quarts, liters, etc.) on the package.

3.      Pay close attention to the price of items being scanned to ensure pricing accuracy.

If a consumer notes a problem, they need to first talk with store personnel and give them the opportunity to correct the discrepancy. If the problem is not explained or corrected to their satisfaction, consumers should contact the TDA’s Weights and Measure office and provide a detailed explanation of the issue. Following the completion of an inspection, the Weights and Measures office will provide a report of their findings upon request.

For more information, or to register a weights and measures complaint, contact TDA at (615) 837-5109 or toll-free at 1-800-628-2631 or visit www.tennessee.gov/agriculture.

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