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Agriculture Secretary: Drought Won’t Affect Food Prices This Year

Jupiterimages/Pixland/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Food prices may go up next year, but for now the severe drought conditions should not have an immediate effect on prices at the grocery store, according to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

“The prices and the impact of a drought will probably not likely be seen in the grocery aisle until later next year in 2013,” Vilsack said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Commodity prices are different from actual prices that we see in the stores the next day.  And while commodity prices are on the rise, Vilsack argues that those increases will not translate into immediate price increases.

The secretary also chastised any business currently engaged in price gouging.

“If folks are using this opportunity to raise prices inappropriately, then shame on them,” Vilsack said.

Vilsack instead points to the high energy costs associated with transporting food as the culprit for any recent fluctuation in supermarket prices.

“That’s why it’s important for us to continue to focus on the President’s ‘all of the above’ approach to produce more energy in the United States,” he said.

Congress is considering a farm bill that would reinstate farmer disaster relief.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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