The EU's dairy common market organisation has come under fire from MEPs, industry representatives and the Bavarian agriculture minister, at a European Parliament public hearing.

Its agriculture committee was told that the Commission's liberalisation plans threatened the survival of the EU dairy sector, "especially in disadvantaged areas and mountain regions."

Speakers claimed that the proposed additional 1% increase in the milk quota over the agreed Agenda 2000 reform package and a 28% cut in dairy intervention prices "would undermine the quota system, flood the market and drive many farmers to the wall."