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EU Dairy Farmers Protest Reforms

July 12, 2010
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According to the Associated Press, several hundred dairy farmers protested outside the European Union headquarters against planned milk sector reforms. The farmers burned rubber boots and work clothes outside the EU complex, and threw boots at police guarding the building. No injuries were reported. Inside, European agriculture ministers were discussing milk sector reforms, including the ways that milk is produced and sold. In the past, the EU has bought milk from farmers to artificially keep prices stable but doesn''t want to continue doing that. The protesters say such a change would hurt small farms by lowering prices. Milk prices have seen sharp increases and decreases in recent years, which is why protesters say EU intervention is needed to stabilize prices. Tens of thousands of small milk producers have left the industry in recent years due to a collapse in prices and many fear their future because price volatility provides no incentive for long-term investments, protest organizers said.
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