The European Parliament's agriculture committee has voted to water down the European Commission's Common Agricultural Policy 'health check' reforms designed to slash subsidies and liberalise dairy production.

Amendments approved by the committee would halt the Commission's planned annual 1% expansion of dairy quotas by 2010, pending a review. This would then scupper Brussels' plans to continue these increases until 2015, when EU dairy production would be completely liberalised.

The agriculture committee has also authorised additional emergency national subsidies for dairy and meat production.

The EU's current French presidency said it would treat these amendments as binding if backed by the full parliament, despite the fact that MEPs lack veto powers over food regulations.