Consumers are feeling the pinch as gas costs rise, making getting a full gallon at the pump and a full pound at the store even more important. That is something that many Americans take for granted, but few are aware of the labour required by state and local weights and measures inspectors around the country.
The National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM) is a non-profit organisation that creates standards for weights and measures in commerce in the United States. NCWM’s standards are published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and states and territories reference them in regulations for enforcement purposes. The NCWM also verifies that weighing and measuring instruments are built to meet its specified performance standards. Consumers are protected by regulatory procedures that test the accuracy of gasoline dispensers, supermarket scales, price scanners, net contents of packaged goods, and other items.
Inspectors, on the other hand, defend the business community. Regulated industries are among the most vocal proponents of stringent weights and measures standards and inspection systems. “Under the stress of the epidemic, businesses fought to survive,” said NCWM Chair Ivan Hankins of the Iowa Department of Agriculture. “It emphasises the significance of fair competition on an equal footing.”
Consumers and businesses must support enough funding for weights and measures regulation, according to Hankins. “When circumstances are tight, the government frequently cuts programme expenditures. Fairness and fairness are always vital, but during times of rising prices and recession, the need for weights and measures in the marketplace is more acute. Unfair practises can exacerbate the harm that unfair tactics cause to our communities in tough times.”
Since 1905, the National Conference on Weights and Measures has been developing weights and measures standards for commerce in the United States. It draws on the knowledge of state and municipal weights and measures officials, federal agencies, manufacturers, retailers, and consumers, bringing all of the relevant parties together to stay up with market innovations.