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FDA Approves Texas A&M's Ultra-Low Gossypol Cotton for Human and Animal Consumption
Posted by: Prof. Dr. M. Raupp (IP Logged)
Date: October 19, 2019 02:17AM

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved an ultra-low
gossypol cottonseed, ULGCS, to be utilized as human food and animal feed.
ULGCS is derived from a transgenic cotton variety developed by plant
biotechnologist Keerti Rathore and his team at Texas A&M AgriLife Research.
TAM66274 is a unique cotton plant with ultra-low gossypol levels in the
seed, which makes the protein from the seeds safe for food use, but also
maintains normal plant-protecting gossypol levels in the rest of the plant,
making it ideal for the traditional cotton farmer.

ULGCS has the potential to make a significant impact on food security
especially in poor, cotton-growing countries, according to Rathore. "The
amount of protein locked up in the annual output of cottonseed worldwide is
about 10.8 trillion grams," he said. "That is more than what is present in
all the chicken eggs produced globally, and enough to meet the basic protein
requirements of over 500 million people."

The FDA approval for ULGCS is only the fifth for a university-developed,
genetically engineered crop in the 25-year history of genetically modified
products in the U.S. and is the first for a Texas university. According to
Rathore, the human food ingredients from TAM66274 cottonseed can be roasted
cottonseed kernels, raw cottonseed kernels, cottonseed kernels, partially
defatted cottonseed flour, defatted cottonseed flour and cottonseed oil. For
animal feed, the low-gossypol cottonseed can be used in the aquaculture and
poultry industries.

To get to this point, Rathore and his team sought approval from two
government agencies. First, a non-regulated status for TAM66274 was secured
from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection
Service. Then, they pursued the FDA approval. "This approval from FDA
enables cultivation and use of this promising new cottonseed product within
the U.S.," Rathore said.


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