Corn Xpress vending machine

A ‘CornXpress’ vending machine as seen in a photo provided by the Missouri Department of Agriculture.

It’s meant to work as a type of 24/7 corn vending machine. But there’s one problem: The device has no way to weigh the commodity.

The Missouri Department of Agriculture issued an alert last week saying the “Corn Xpress” is not legal for sale in the state.

“Those who are in the market for this device... this might not be the route you want them to go because of all the issues we’re having,” Danielle Reddick, an agribusiness manager with the weights, measures and consumer protection division, said. “As far as we know, we’ve taken the ones out of service that are in the state and contacted those owners.”

But Reddick says the company that sells the machines, “CornXpress,” hasn’t responded to the DOA’s inquiries.

They haven’t turned over a customer list and they didn’t establish a line of contact with the state once it implemented its order, Reddick said.

“It’s even more rare when we don’t hear back from a company at all,” Reddick said. “I would say that this does not happen often, we don’t typically have major issues that come up in weights and measures like this.”

The vending machines have been found in Sikeston, Jackson, Advance and Wappapallo, Missouri. The machines are manufactured in Missouri.

Instead of using a scale, the machine uses a timer to dispense the product like corn or wheat. Reddick says that’s against Missouri law.

According to the Department of Agriculture’s consumer alert, the machines don’t have a method to verify how much product they dispense, also against the law.

The final violation is the lack of a seal, meaning the contents of the machines could be tampered with.

Reddick said the state is working with consumers who’ve already obtained the machines to make them legal, but it requires many workarounds to install the scale and seals.

“It actually runs off a timer,” Reddick said. “And it can be altered by the owner at any time.”

Matt Hoffmann can be reached at matt.hoffmann@newspressnow.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NpNowHoffmann.

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