The French Government has warned that it is prepared to destroy the potential World Trade Organisation (WTO) agricultural liberalisation deal that would boost global trade in foodstuffs, to continue protecting its food and drink sector.

In an interview with newspaper Les Echos France agriculture minister Dominique Bussereau said: "We prefer no agreement rather than a one way agreement. We must defend our interests."

He was talking as world trade ministers start a round of crucial talks today at the WTO headquarters in Geneva, where all parties must make important concessions to secure a tariff and subsidy deal that could grow the world economy by US$44bn, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.