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Crop Biotech Update

GM Cottonseed Analyzed for Ruminant Feeding

January 14, 2011

Genetically modified (GM) cotton with insect resistance genes from Bacillus thuringiensis is now planted to 90% of the total area for cotton production in India. Farmers in developing countries are using the cottonseed, a by-product of cotton, to feed dairy cows and buffaloes. Thus, Ranjan K. Mohanta of the National Dairy Research Institute, and colleagues, conducted an experiment to compare the composition and fermentability of cottonseeds from Bt cotton and non-Bt cotton.

Chemical composition and minerals of Bt cottonseeds and non-Bt cottonseeds were both found to be in normal range. Both also exhibited similar results in the analyses of total gas production and ammonia nitrogen concentation. Cry1C protein from Bt cottonseeds were also degraded in the digestive system of the ruminants - same fate as with the other proteins that they have ingested.

Results show that cottonseeds from Bt cotton could possibly be used for feeding ruminants.

The original paper is available at