FDA approves Texas A&M-grown cottonseed for human consumption

Humans can now eat cottonseed grown by scientists at Texas A&M. Researchers say this development has huge implications for world hunger.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved cottonseed, a byproduct of growing cotton for fiber, as edible food for both animals and humans.

Researchers say it could have implications for helping to solve world hunger, as cotton is already grown all over the world.

Texas A&M Agrilife researchers like Keerti Rathore, a plant biotechnologist, have been working on this for two decades. They have been developing a version of the cotton plant that doesn’t have the gossypol in the seed. Gossypol is a natural pesticide that allows the plant to grow; however, it is poisonous to humans.

Now, this genetically modified cotton plant keeps the gossypol in the plant but not in the seed, allowing the seed to be consumed by humans.

Cottonseed has high protein content. Rathore says it can be roasted and eaten, ground into a flour, including in granola or shakes, or any number of consumption options.

Rathore says the next step is to market the modified cottonseed to cotton growers.

To watch the first live-television taste-test of edible cottonseed, see the video player above.