Previously known as Physicians and Scientists for Responsible Genetics PSRGNZ - Charitable Trust
As required under the new 2005 Charities Act, PSGR has reregistered as a charitable trust.

Dr Meriel Watts is an expert on the adverse effects of pesticides and on non-chemical alternatives to them. She is Principal Researcher of the research group Meriel Watts Research and Consulting, which provides consultancy services on the environmental and health impacts of pesticides; pesticides policy; sustainable food and fibre production; and sustainable pest, weed, and disease management. Meriel is also Coordinator of Pesticide Action Network (PAN)  Aotearoa New Zealand; Senior Science Advisor to PAN Asia and the Pacific and co-Chair of its Pesticides Task Force; Co-Chair of the IPEN (International POPs Elimination Network) Pesticides Working Group; and Committee member for Australia’s National Toxics Network. She frequently represent PAN International at UN chemicals meetings, including the Stockholm and Rotterdam Convention and  SAICM, the Strategic Alliance for International Chemicals Management, and the FAO/WHO Joint Meeting on Pesticide Management.

Meriel gained her PhD at the University of Auckland in 2000 with a thesis entitled Ethical Pesticide Policy: Beyond Risk Assessment. Her bachelors degree  in agricultural science was  from Massey University in 1973; and in between were Diplomas in Natural Therapeutics and Homoeopathy from the South Pacific College of Natural Therapeutics.

She has been a member of numerous government committees relating to pesticides including the Pesticides Board, several Ministry of Agriculture Spray Drift Working Groups, the Agrichemical Trespass Ministerial Advisory Committee, the  Ministry for the Environment’s Reference Group for a National Pesticide Reduction Policy, and the Science Advisory Group for Operation Evergreen against the White-Spotted Tussock Moth.

Meriel has also been director of the Soil & Health Association, New Zealand’s largest organics organisation; and consultant to Auckland City Council on the development of its Weed Management Policy. Meriel has published a number of books on pesticides, including Poisoning Our Future: Children and Pesticides (2013), Pesticides: Sowing Poison, Growing Hunger, Reaping Sorrow (2010), and Pesticides and Breast Cancer: A Wake Up Call (2007); as well as numerous monographs, fact sheets, and articles.

Meriel and her partner run a small, certified organic farm on Auckland’s Waiheke Island, providing food for the local community.

For personal reasons, Meriel stepped down from being a Trustee in 2017.  She remains an irreplaceable source of information and support.