How biggest polluters earn most from EU farm subsidies

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As European farm ministers met earlier this month at a château in France's Loire Valley to reframe EU agricultural policy, a detailed study of European farm aid has revealed a major contradiction right at the heart of that policy; that the most polluting farms actually receive the most cash from subsidies. And amid French farmers' protests against falling prices and shrivelling incomes, the study also showed that in the current economic context, the usual strategy of continually boosting production is no longer an option. Jade Lindgaard reports.

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There was an elephant in the room during the recent conflict between French dairy farmers and giant dairy conglomerate Lactalis, and at the European Union agriculture ministers' meeting at Chambord in the Loire Valley on September 2nd: the effect of agriculture and European subsidies on the environment.