23 May 2013

Anti-GE group lodges complaint against councillor

9:25 pm on 23 May 2013

A Northland group calling for local control over genetically-engineered crops has lodged a formal complaint against a regional councillor alleging a conflict of interest.

Ian Walker, who also heads the organisation Farmers of New Zealand, chaired a council working group that decided not to include the GE issue in the proposed regional policy statement.

The Whangarei Community Gardening Group says Farmers of New Zealand is essentially a lobby group with a strong pro-GE stance.

The group's spokesperson, James Bellamy, says Mr Walker should not have been chairing the committee given his personal views on genetic engineering and the complaint alleges that he breached the council's code of conduct.

Mr Walker has said his views on GE are irrelevant to the policy statement process.