Pro-business legislators yesterday voted down a proposal to make the sale of food which has passed its use-by date illegal. The motion, moved by Chan Kam-lam of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong, also called for the labelling of food which contains genetically modified ingredients. Mr Chan also urged the Government to increase scrutiny of so-called 'health foods' and study whether a labelling system stating the food's nutritional value was needed. 'At present, consumers want but cannot get information as many food products have no labels,' he said. The Democratic Party and other legislators supported the motion, saying more control would better protect people's health. But the Liberal Party rejected the proposal, saying it would damage business. Party vice-chairman Selina Chow Liang Shuk-yee said over-regulation would also be a nuisance for the public. Speaking after the meeting, party member Tommy Cheung Yu-yan, who represents the catering sector, said imports would be affected by such a move. Secretary for Environment and Food Lily Yam Kwan Pui-ying said the Government did not support penalising retailers whose food was past the use-by date.