The council advises the Ontario Minister of Agriculture and Food about how its research funds ought to be spent, such as identifying priorities and encouraging agricultural research.
In practice, almost all of the agriculture ministry’s research funds are spent on a contract with the University of Guelph.
This means that the government has put Dr. Zheng in a most difficult position should he ever see that the research contract and the projects being supported at the University of Guelph could, in his opinion, be better spent elsewhere.
None of this is any fault of Dr. Zheng's. It's the fault of those who put him into this conflict of interests.