Genetically Modified Cotton Seeds Are Edible – Could Feed Millions, Scientists Say

November 30, 2009 / 3 Comments

cotton1 1254645310 Genetically Modified Cotton Seeds Are Edible   Could Feed Millions, Scientists Say

Until now, cotton seeds were normally inedible by humans, because they contain a poisonous substance called gossypol. Cows can eat cotton seeds because of their multiple stomachs which are able to get rid of the toxins before digesting the seeds further – humans, however, cannot do that. Scientists in Texas have found a way to drastically reduce the toxin levels in cotton seeds, to an extent where they’re no longer harmful to humans.

According to some experts, this can completely change the food situation in the world, as it will provide new options for poor people who’re currently starving on low-protein diets. Cotton is cheap to grow and this will surely reduce starvation a lot.

The effects of gossypol on humans are a sharp reduction of potassium levels in the blood, which in turn damages the heart and liver very severely. Chickens that have been fed nothing but cotton seeds usually die in one week.

Scientists have been trying hard to find a way to remove gossypol from cotton seeds – there was a minor breakthrough in the 1950s, when a method was discovered to grow cotton without any gossypol at all. However, this proved to be impossible in outside conditions, as gossypol also acts as the plant’s main defense against insects and parasites.

  • Neal

    Thats great news! Need more organic cotton varieties like MRC-270 and MRC-5156 instead of BT cotton

  • http://WWW.FREZHAR.COM joseph maina kamau

    am interested in genetically modified cotton seeds for research and selling in kenya.
    pliz respond to me via email ( give me a call on how i can acquire the seeds.

    yours sincerely
    Joseph maina kamau

  • Safdar Ch.

    I m from Pakistan and want a new varieties of cotton seeds. I have a variety of cotton seed. Its total Period is 9 months. Its average is 5 ton area 200*220.Its resistance in temperature 48 degree.Its shading is 0%.$100 per 5Kg. if someone is interested call +923006327298