Using Oregon as an example, it’s the job of 20 inspectors with the Oregon Department of Agriculture to ensure fairness in the marketplace statewide. They do that by checking a growing number of licensed devices for accuracy. Here's how ODA’s Jason Barber, director of Internal Services and Consumer Protection, explains it:

“Our examination rate, we’ve got about 58,600 licensed weighing and measuring devices in the state. That’s Oregon’s commercial weighing system and we try to get to as many of those in a calendar year that we can. And it’s a result of the economy growing. This is a record number of licensed devices we’ve had.”

Inspectors look at measuring devices ranging from those at grocery store check stands to gasoline stations, Barber says: “We pump about 2.3 billion gallons of gas in the state a year. That’s about $5.9 billion. So you can imagine that if any of those were off even a little bit, so if those pumps are off, you are talking hundreds of thousands of dollars. So that’s one of our priorities.”

Elsewhere, and for those of you in the Northwest who are raising any kind of poultry, bird flu outbreaks are showing up in poultry flocks in unusual locations around the world. Experts are urging stepped up vigilance by poultry producers and by human health authorities as well.