Today’s quick hits, October 17, 2018

McDonald’s franchisees want more control (Nation’s Restaurant News): More than 400 McDonald’s franchisees gathered in Florida last week to discuss forming an owners’ alliance, citing the fast food chain’s ongoing shift from local to national control.

Beer climate news may not be so bad (Brewers Association): A beer economist argues that a recent report predicting climate-caused beer price hikes didn’t account for ongoing preparation in the industry for changing climate conditions.

Mild, nutty taste? Cottonseed for people (San Antonio Express): Cottonseed hummus is one of the possible uses for a biotech cotton variety, approved by USDA, that has low levels of a toxin that previously prevented human consumption of cottonseed.

Zoetis to get license for African swine fever vaccine (USDA): The government proposed an exclusive licenses for Zoetis LLC, the world’s largest veterinary medicine company, to market USDA-patented vaccines against African swine fever, a deadly hog disease found worldwide.

Jurors ask judge: Keep Monsanto verdict (San Francisco Chronicle): Two, and possibly four, of the jurors who awarded $289 million to a terminally ill groundskeeper sent letters to Superior Court Judge Suzanne Bolanos, asking her to reconsider her tentative decision to overturn most of the damages against herbicide maker Monsanto.

No newspapers in 171 counties (Poynter Institute): Research into the spread of “news deserts” found 171 counties without news coverage; the counties without a newspaper tend to be rural and the South is home to 91 of the counties.