Edible GMO cotton could supply protein to 600 million people daily

| | November 9, 2018
Nigeriacotton
Image: EPA/STR
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

It turns out cotton seed is a great source of protein, except it’s currently toxic for humans. Cotton naturally produces gossypol, which is essentially an insecticide. While that helps the plant fight off insects, it also makes it poisonous to humans and most animals. But scientists at Texas A&M University discovered they could “turn off” the gene causing the plant to create gossypol ….

And that means cotton could become a big component in meeting the world’s growing food demand. Protein is obviously an important part of our diet.  Edible cotton has enough of it to meet the daily needs of 600 million people.

Related article:  AquaBounty aims to win over consumers before its GMO salmon hits US markets in 2020

Edible cotton obviously is directly at odds with the non-GMO movement. It raises an interesting dichotomy though: a use of biotechnology that could help us alleviate an impending problem in a sustainable way. The alternative is to grow more protein through animals, which will take more land and resources. So there seems to be a pretty easy choice here.

So it isn’t quite cotton candy or edible unmentionables, but the new GMO cotton has a lot of potential. Oh, and reportedly it tastes a lot like hummus. Yum!

Read full, original article: Edible Cotton Is On The Horizon. Here’s Why It Matters

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