While the government mulls whether to make GM labels mandatory, Channel NewsAsia has reported that increasing numbers of Hong Kong consumers are turning organic in their food choices. Angus Lam, chairman of the Hong Kong Organic Farming Association, believes this trend is representative of the consumer need for guarantees of safety in food products, and while organic certification guidelines are still not finalised: "It depends on the confidence of consumers."

Organic farms are increasing in number, but many local producers believe that the labour intensive organic system may not catch on. One producer, Pui-kwan Chu, commented: "Bak choy, choy sum, kale, they all belong to the same family and they attract the same pests. A lot of the time when we grow them, we end up with the stem because the leaves [are] eaten by pests and we lose a lot of crops… Unfortunately they turn out to be the most demanded vegetables in Hong Kong."

If the Hong Kong government approves a labelling law for all pre-packaged products with GM content above 5%, it could still be two years before they become effective. Critics maintain that it would be better to speed up the process with the introduction of a voluntary labelling system.

The major Hong Kong retail chain, Wellcome Supermarket, said that it favour an industry wide approach to labelling, to give consumers an informed choice about food products.

Others say that because there is no scientific evidence to prove that GM foods are unsafe, proposed guidelines should be stricter. Connie Lau, head of research and survey division of the Consumer Council, said: "The threshold limits should be tightened down to 1% like those in European countries. But we understand the industry needs time, also the lab needs time for the testing of products. We think that the government should start with 5% but eventually should have the ultimate goal to tighten up this level."