A food and environmental hygiene watchdog is to be given a draft version of a genetically modified (GM) food labelling law. The Advisory Council on Food and Environmental Hygiene, which met for the first time yesterday, will compare the draft with international GM food regulations, chairman Daniel Tse Chi-wai said. In Europe, labelling is required for products with at least one per cent GM content, he said. But in the United States and Canada, only those foods with GM contents that make products obviously different from those without are required for listing on their label. 'In Hong Kong, we hope to come up with a balance that would provide safety and not incur too much extra cost by setting the labelling requirement,' Mr Tse said. Manufacturers and distributors will be forced to follow testing and certification standards if GM labelling is made mandatory. The Government expects to have a draft law ready for consultation by the end of the year. The council also heard that regulations on the use of drugs in livestock feed will be submitted for legislators' discussion in three months.