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Illinois Department of Agriculture celebrates Weights and Measures Week

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[March 06, 2013]  SPRINGFIELD -- The Illinois Department of Agriculture is observing National Weights and Measures Week, March 1-7, to recognize the efforts of its employees who work behind the scenes to make sure consumers get what they pay for.

"Almost everything we buy, from a gallon of gas to a pound of ground beef, is sold by weight, volume, length, count or measure," said Agriculture Director Bob Flider. "The fact consumers rarely question the accuracy of weights and measures is an indication our employees are doing their job to ensure fairness in the marketplace. I commend them for their hard work, not only this week that is set aside in their honor, but also every other week of the year."

Employees in the Bureau of Weights and Measures use highly accurate equipment to inspect scales at supermarkets, warehouses, packing plants, feed mills, shipping companies and hardware stores, as well as meters at gas stations and motor fuel terminals. Last year, more than 128,000 devices were tested.

"The accuracy of their testing equipment is ensured by our Metrology Lab," said Doug Rathbun, bureau chief. "The lab, which recently was recertified by the Institute of Standards and Technology, calibrates the equipment to meet exacting national standards. Use of those standards means a gallon or pound of product will be the same in Illinois as it is in every other state."

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Weights and Measures Week was proclaimed to commemorate the signing of the first United States weights and measures law by John Adams on March 2, 1799.

[Text from Illinois Department of Agriculture file received from the Illinois Office of Communication and Information]

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