Weights and Measures Week: DATCP Ensures Accurate Prices and Measurements

​FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 27​, 2024​
Contact: Caleb Kulich, Public Information Officer, (608) 621-1290, caleb.kulich@wisconsin.gov​

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​MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) Bureau of Weights and Measures has an essential role in protecting the fairness of commercial transactions in the state. In 2023, Weights and Measures staff conducted 226,832 inspections at 5,595 business locations statewide to monitor the accuracy of motor vehicle fuel pumps, commercial scales, price scanners, milk tanks, package weights, and other measuring instruments.

  • Wisconsin gas pum​​​ps provided adequate fuel in 99.6% of DATCP's inspections.

  • Scales used to s​ell products by weight (such as deli food or precious metals) were accurate or in the customer's favor in 99.6% of DATCP's inspections.

  • Packaged products sol​​d by weight (such as flour and sugar) were labeled accurately in 98.6% of DATCP's inspections.

  • Prices at checkout​​ registers using scanners were accurate or in the customer's favor in 96.8% of DATCP's inspections.

  • Additionally, DATCP tested 4,493 fuel samples for quality at the Wisconsin Weights and Measures Laboratory, 98.4% of which met the minimum national standards.

“DATCP’s Bureau of Weights and Measures serves a vital role in Wisconsin’s economy. Consumer confidence depends on the precise, accurate measurement of everyday goods like food, gasoline, and raw materials,” said DATCP Secretary Randy Romanski. “I want to thank the team at DATCP for the work the inspectors, lab technicians, and office staff do year-round to ensure we can get what we pay for as consumers.”

DATCP operates the Wisconsin Weights and Measures Laboratory, a facility which conducts testing and calibration services for Wisconsin and several neighboring states. The laboratory also maintains the state’s standards of mass and volume, which are physical objects that all other standards serviced by DATCP are measured against. Physical standards and measurement devices undergo natural changes over time which can cause slight inaccuracies, so they must be tested and adjusted regularly to ensure they match international specifications. When DATCP inspectors identify inaccurate measurements or prices, they issue orders to the retailer to correct the error(s). 

In 2023, DATCP issued 4,648 orders related to inaccurate measurements and prices and conducted 870 re-inspections to verify that the corrections were made. In some cases, DATCP also takes higher-level enforcement actions, resulting in outcomes such as its November 2023 settlement​ with Dollar General Corporation for over $850,000 after a statewide inspection effort resulted in 662 alleged violations of price accuracy laws. 

Every year, Weights and Measures Week is observed nationwide o​​n March 1–7 to mark the signing of the first U.S. weights and measures law by President John Adams on March 2, 1799. Media are invited to schedule a ride-along for a weights and measures inspection to record footage, observe the process, and ask questions by contacting public information officer Caleb Kulich. For additional information or to file a weights and measures complaint, visit datcp.wi.gov​, call (608) 224-4942 or email DATCPWeightsAndMeasures@wisconsin.gov


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