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Stakeholder with interests in the risk and/or benefit assessment of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) are invited to take part in an online survey.

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E 461 | Thickening agent
Possible application of gene technology Labelling
Raw material GM-cotton possible



Methylcellulose and other chemically modified derivatives of cellulose (E 463 - 469) are approved as supplements for different purposes. In contrast to cellulose, these swell in water Utilisation


The cellulose compounds are used as emulsifying agents, stabilisers, filler material, thickeners and coating agents. They contribute to stabilising the consistency, shape, fluidity and colour of processed foods. Common areas of use are:

Gene technology

Methylcellulose is a chemical derivative of cellulose, and is produced as a by-product of cotton production.

  • GM-cotton is widely cultivated in many countries, especially in the USA, China and India. It can be assumed that the primary cotton product stems to a certain proportion from GM-plants.

  • In the EU, many cotton plant products have been approved for use as feed and foodstuff. This includes cellulose and supplements derived from it that have been obtained from GM-cotton plants.

Labelling in the EU: Cellulose has to be labelled as such if it has been produced from GM-cotton. Whether this also applies to methylcellulose has not been legally explicitly clarified. Methylcellulose is a chemically modified form of cellulose. In practice, it is generally not labelled.

November 10, 2005 [nach oben springen]

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