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EU farmers slam MEP bid to cap crop biofuels

European farmers’ groups have slammed a vote by the European Parliament’s Environment Committee to limit the amount of crops grown for biofuel production. In its second reading of the proposals, the Committee voted for a 6% cap on the amount of EU transport fuel that should be derived from cereal and oilseed crops. This is below the 7% cap proposed by EU Ministers at their first reading last year, and repeats the 6% limit recommended by the full Parliament’s first reading. The European Commission originally proposed a 5% cap to keep agricultural land for food production and encourage a switch to biofuels from other sources. Farmers’ group Copa-Cogeca repeated its warning that a cap below 8% would: lead to a “big” fall in the oilseed rape area; reduce crop diversification through rotation; and disturb cereal, sugar and feed markets.

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