Cotton industry prepares to commercialize FDA-approved GMO seeds to help ‘feed 500 million people’

cotton b e a a d b e c fa ef bd d t
Image: Arkansas Online

The cotton industry hopes to launch a new market for a genetically modified cotton plant whose seeds are edible for humans. The push comes after the Food and Drug Administration OK’d the modified plant for human consumption in late September.

Now that the plant has been deregulated, Cotton Incorporated must convince seed companies to adopt and market the new variety …. As a brand new product, there is no current market for edible cotton seeds, which makes it a risky one for seed companies to produce and market.

Plus, as a genetically modified plant, the cotton industry could face an uphill battle to convince consumers it is safe to eat. But …. several seed companies have expressed interest in the new seeds ….

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Standard cotton is poisonous to humans because it contains toxic levels of a substance called gossypol, which protects the plant from insects and other pests.

The newly approved plant was engineered to produce a protein-rich seed that has almost no gossypol ….

“There are 10.8 million tons of protein locked up in our yearly output of cotton seed,” said Keerti Rathore, a professor at Texas A&M’s Institute for Plant Genomics and Biotechnology, who developed the gossypol-free cotton plant ….

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Read full, original article: Cotton seed for dinner? That could become a reality

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