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Press Releases

March 5, 2024
Celebrate National Weights and Measures Week and the Professionals Who Protect Virginia’s Consumers and Businesses
Contact: Michael Wallace

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) joins the National Conference on Weights and Measures in observance of National Weights and Measures Week, March 1 - 7. This week commemorates the anniversary of John Adams’ signing the first weights and measures law on March 2, 1799. This law required each state to receive a set of weights and measures standards to guide regulatory officials as they protect the interest of buyers and sellers and prevent unfair practices in the marketplace. The VDACS Office of Weights and Measures is responsible for assuring that weighing and measuring devices used in commercial transactions in the Commonwealth are accurate and operate correctly.

“Accuracy is important to both buyers and sellers and VDACS plays a major role of ensuring a level playing field. In addition to the more obvious devices that are tested for accuracy, such as gas pumps and grocery scales, VDACS inspectors also test large capacity truck scales, livestock scales, packaged goods, and scanners, among many others,” noted VDACS Commissioner Joseph Guthrie.

The following is a summary of a few activities performed by the VDACS Office of Weights and Measures in fiscal year 2023:

  • Conducted 9,867 calibrations of standards of mass and volume for industry and government, including state police radar tuning forks.
  • Conducted 83,432 tests of weighing and measuring equipment and 19,776 were rejected for inaccuracies. Rejections range from devices not meeting applicable measurement tolerances to equipment disrepair.
  • Collected and tested 4,731 samples of motor fuels to verify octane ratings, check for the presence of water in the fuel, amount of ethanol added and compliance with other standards.
  • Conducted point-of-sale price verification inspections of 66,893 items using store check-out scanners.
  • Verified the accurate weighing of 20,421 store-wrapped packaged items.

In addition, VDACS Office of Weights and Measures is collaborating with the National Conference on Weights and Measures, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and 27 other states in the National Price Verification Survey. The results of the national survey will be available in June and will provide statistical information on different types of errors found in pricing at retail establishments.

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