USDA Gives Rare Approval to Texas A&M Scientist to Pursue New Discovery To Feed Millions, Boost Cotton Farmers’ Earnings

Approval marks largest hurdle cleared on way to commercialization
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Tuesday gave its blessing to Texas A&M AgriLife Research to move toward commercialization of a new strain of cotton that has the potential to help feed half a billion hungry people across the globe while also doubling the income of cotton farmers.
It is only the fourth time ever that a university has successfully petitioned the USDA for deregulation – and the first time in Texas.
The development was the result of a Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientist’s life’s work.
After 23 years, Dr. Keerti Rathore figured out a way to remove a naturally occurring toxin from cottonseeds that made them inedible to people and most animals. The breakthrough by Rathore and his team at Texas A&M AgriLife Research will allow farmers now to grow cotton for both fiber and food.
The new seeds can be eaten, ground into flour or made into a peanut butter-like spread. They also can provide an excellent source of protein for animals that were unable to consume cottonseeds before Rathore’s discovery.
Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp, who oversees Texas A&M AgriLife Research along with 11 universities and seven state agencies, said Rathore’s work will have a dramatic effect across the world.
“The work and dedication of Dr. Rathore has paid off,” Chancellor Sharp said. “He and his team exemplify the values of the Texas A&M System, and because of them, more than half a billion people across the world may have access to a new form of protein, and our farmers will be able to earn a much better living.”
See a video of Chancellor Sharp with Dr. Rathore at https://chancellor.tamus.edu/videos/.
Through a project funded by Cotton Incorporated, Rathore and the Texas A&M team have developed a cotton plant without significant levels of toxin in the seeds. The plant, however, maintains normal levels of the natural toxin gossypol in the rest of the plant, which is important to protect it from pests.
Rathore said he has been focused for nearly a quarter of a century on unlocking “the potential to make this new source of protein available to hundreds of millions of people.”
Countries all over the world will see the advantages from Rathore’s development, but cotton-producing countries in areas that are struggling with famine and malnutrition could benefit the most from Rathore’s work. They will be able to use the seed-derived protein for human consumption and as a feed for poultry, swine or aquaculture species.
“I also realized the value to cotton farmers everywhere of removing gossypol from the cottonseed because such a product is likely to improve their income without any extra effort on their part or additional input,” he said. “Such a product can also be important from the standpoint of sustainability because farmers will produce fiber, feed and food from the same crop.”
The next step after move by the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, or APHIS, is approval from the Food and Drug Administration, which is expected in the coming months. Then, it is onto commercialization, which would require involvement from philanthropies, investors or corporations.
About The Texas A&M University System
The Texas A&M University System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation, with a budget of $4.7 billion. Through a statewide network of 11 universities and seven state agencies, the Texas A&M System educates more than 152,000 students and makes more than 22 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. System-wide, research and development expenditures exceeded $972 million in FY 2016 and helped drive the state’s economy.
Contact: Laylan Copelin
Vice Chancellor of Marketing and Communications
(979) 458-6425
(512) 289-2782 cell
[email protected]


Thursday January 01, 1970

Search for:


Thursday January 01, 1970

Archives Archives


Thursday January 01, 1970

Select Month
November 2018  (1)
October 2018  (11)
September 2018  (9)
August 2018  (28)
July 2018  (6)
June 2018  (8)
May 2018  (3)
April 2018  (7)
March 2018  (4)
February 2018  (10)
January 2018  (3)
December 2017  (4)
November 2017  (7)
October 2017  (7)
September 2017  (8)
August 2017  (10)
July 2017  (4)
June 2017  (13)
May 2017  (8)
April 2017  (6)
March 2017  (6)
February 2017  (6)
January 2017  (5)
December 2016  (5)
November 2016  (6)
October 2016  (4)
September 2016  (3)
August 2016  (5)
July 2016  (1)
June 2016  (11)
May 2016  (10)
April 2016  (3)
February 2016  (1)
January 2016  (4)
December 2015  (3)
November 2015  (2)
October 2015  (2)
September 2015  (7)
August 2015  (8)
July 2015  (3)
June 2015  (2)
May 2015  (3)
April 2015  (3)
March 2015  (4)
February 2015  (9)
January 2015  (7)
December 2014  (10)
November 2014  (3)
September 2014  (6)
August 2014  (4)
July 2014  (1)
May 2014  (5)
April 2014  (8)
March 2014  (1)
February 2014  (4)
January 2014  (8)
December 2013  (4)
November 2013  (1)
October 2013  (8)
September 2013  (5)
August 2013  (6)
July 2013  (3)
June 2013  (3)
May 2013  (7)
April 2013  (2)
March 2013  (1)
February 2013  (1)
January 2013  (6)
December 2012  (4)
November 2012  (5)
October 2012  (4)
September 2012  (2)
August 2012  (7)
July 2012  (3)
June 2012  (6)
May 2012  (1)
April 2012  (7)
March 2012  (3)
February 2012  (6)
January 2012  (5)
December 2011  (5)
November 2011  (10)
October 2011  (6)
September 2011  (14)
August 2011  (7)
July 2011  (3)
June 2011  (9)
May 2011  (12)
April 2011  (11)
March 2011  (9)
February 2011  (10)
January 2011  (13)

November 2018

M
T
W
T
F
S
S

« Oct
 
 

 1234

567891011

12131415161718

19202122232425

2627282930
 

Subscribe to Our Newsletter!

The post USDA Gives Rare Approval to Texas A&M Scientist to Pursue New Discovery To Feed Millions, Boost Cotton Farmers’ Earnings appeared first on The Texas A&M University System.