The world's richest trading powers have made only minimal progress over the past two decades in reducing trade-distorting farm subsidies, according to the OECD.
More grist to the mill of CBI director general Sir Digby Jones, who has been waging a one-man campaign on the theme.
Farm support in the EU was at the centre of last weekend's EU summit failure where Britain rejected claims, mainly from France, that it reduce its annual rebate. The UK will only do that if the EU radically reorganises the Common Agricultural Policy.
But, while the CAP may be notorious for waste, others are equally guilty.
The Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development found that the United States had increased the percentage of subsidies in its farmers' income from 15 per cent in 2003 to 18 per cent in 2004 to a cash total of $46.5 billion.
The top five subsidisers, according to the OECD, are Iceland, Switzerland and Norway - all outside the EU --and South Korea and Japan, which both give massive support to their politicallyinfluential rice farmers.
At the bottom end of the scale, Australian agriculture gets only four per cent of its income from support and in New Zealand the figure is only three per cent.
So, apart from Australia and New Zealand, it is a mess...and others suffer.
Indeed one effect of production-based subsidies has been to lower world prices of agricultural commodities - on which many poor nations depend.
However Sir Digby senses a possible breakthrough.
In a speech this week he declared that the winds of change were blowing in Europe - and that structural and economic reforms must be delivered if public confidence was to be restored.
" How many ordinary Europeans know that the EU ' s budget is over 100 billion euros each year with around 40 per cent of it eaten up by the CAP?" he asked. "Around 22 per cent of the CAP budget goes straight to French farmers... the 'French rebate'.
"The UK is renowned for its sense of fairness and would never expect the poorer countries of Europe to subsidise the more successful ones, which is why it is happy to put its rebate of 4.6 billion euros on the table - but only if the distortion of the EU budget as a whole is dealt with.
"And don't forget that any hope we may have of a sustained reduction in poverty in Africa and the developing world is totally linked to ending European agricultural subsidies.
"Only the prevention of trade distorting subsidies will allow African products to be exported and stop European goods being sold more cheaply in Africa.
"Reform won't be easy but the economic difficulties which have beset many member states in recent years, sluggish growth, high unemployment and despondency about the future, have all served to reinforce the reality of global competition."
Brave words, but Britain and France remain miles apart. I fear the winds of change amount to barely a breeze. French farmers have no time for Africa.