Scientists at Texas &M University have earned federal approval of a genetic process to unleash cottonseed as possibly one of the world’s leading sources of protein-rich food.

The San Antonio Express-News reports the patent-pending process is known as “TAM66274.” The process this month won nonregulation status from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service.

Keerti S. Rathore, professor of soil and crop sciences, looks at cotton plantlets in the laboratory for crop transformation at Texas A&M University Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in College Station, Texas. Scientists at Texas &M University have earned federal approval of a genetic process to unleash cottonseed as possibly one of the world’s leading sources of protein-rich food. (Melissa Phillip/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Officials with Texas A&M AgriLife Research say cottonseed possibly could become a food source for the world’s growing population, such as grinding seed into flour.

Keerti S. Rathore, professor of soil and crop sciences, talks about cotton in a laboratory greenhouse at Texas A&M University, in College Station, Texas. Scientists at Texas &M University have earned federal approval of a genetic process to unleash cottonseed as possibly one of the world’s leading sources of protein-rich food. (Melissa Phillip/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Experts say it will take a couple of years before there’s enough seed for a commercial-scale run at a cottonseed oil mill. The Express-News reports an agreement will have to be reached with a seed company willing to market the trait for cotton farmers worldwide.

Keerti S. Rathore, professor of soil and crop sciences, holds a jar containing a cotton plantlet in the laboratory for crop transformation at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. Scientists at Texas &M University have earned federal approval of a genetic process to unleash cottonseed as possibly one of the world’s leading sources of protein-rich food. (Melissa Phillip/Houston Chronicle via AP)

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Source: The Associated Press

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