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US commercialises a biotech version of edible cotton

The Texas A&M University, recently commercialised a biotech version of a cotton plant whose seeds can be eaten. Texas A&M Keerti Rathore started working on the project 23 years ago, and figured out how to silence a gene in the plant that produced a toxin, called gossypol. While gossypol protects the plant from insects, it made the seeds inedible to humans and most animals.

It will be several years before farmers can grow it commercially, as seed supplies have to be ramped up starting next season. US Food and Drug Administration approval is still needed, which the university expects within months. After that, farmers will be able to grow cotton for food as well as for fiber.

The cotton seeds contain proteins to meet the daily requirements of 600 million people should all cotton in the world be replaced with edible varieties.