France's powerful farmers' union, FNSEA, and its allies united in an attempt to win back an argument on agricultural subsidies they fear is being lost to the world's exporting nations. Rich countries' subsidies and tariffs on agricultural imports have emerged as the key stumbling block in the current Doha round of trade negotiations. Joined by farmer unions from Canada, other EU countries, Japan, Korea and a number of developing countries, FNSEA said legitimate concerns, such as food security, were being overlooked. 'We believe that every country has a right to ensure that the concerns of its own citizens about food and agriculture, which extend far beyond purely commercial considerations, are met,' FNSEA said. 'Agricultural trade rules must reflect this in a way which is fair and equitable for every WTO member.' A spokesman for Canada's L'Union des Producteurs Agricoles argued the WTO was overstepping its bounds by taking on agriculture. 'There is no contradiction between free-trade rules and the need for domestic rules to protect domestic production and food security.' That view was echoed by Isami Miyata, the chairman of Japan's Central Union of Agricultural Co-operatives, who also rejected demand by the US and Brazil for Japan to cut tariff cuts on agricultural imports. 'In Japan it is often reported that our position and the position of our farmers is in the minority but this is not in fact the case,' Mr Miyata said. 'Our stance on tariff cuts is that the demands from the US and Brazil are too severe - regardless of whether you are a developing country or a developed one, such demands on the agriculture sectors are too severe and both countries must realise this.' Eduardo Boamoude, president of a European umbrella organisation for agricultural co-operatives, said: 'We want to live from our work and feed our families and our populations.'