Nov 14, 2018

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Situational awareness: British Prime Minister Theresa May says her Cabinet is backing a draft Brexit deal, even as it faces an uphill battle in Parliament. Go deeper.

1 big thing: The next food debate

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The next generation of scientifically enhanced foods is here, with a different name, different techniques and new complexities for regulation.

What's next: "By early next year, the first foods from plants or animals that had their DNA 'edited' are expected to begin selling," the AP reports.

  • Gene editing tools like CRISPR can be used to produce genetic changes — and desired traits — faster than traditional techniques like cross-breeding or irradiating seeds.
  • These aren't GMOs in that the crops don't necessarily include genetic material from other species.
  • "The technology can insert new DNA, but most products in development so far switch off a gene."

Among the expected offerings:

  • Swapping out the trans fats in soybean oils
  • Taking out the gene that produces horns in dairy cows, so they don't need dehorning
  • Wheat with less gluten and more fiber
  • Mushrooms that don't brown
  • Crops with more drought tolerance

Between the lines: The FDA is planning to use tougher regulations on gene editing for animals, but the USDA says “plants that could otherwise have been developed through traditional breeding don't require new rules," the AP notes.

The big picture: More people will need more food that requires less water, fertilizer and land. World population is set to reach 9 billion by 2050, and rising global incomes will likely increase the demand for meat. To feed those humans under current climate change projections, farmers need crops that are hardier against extreme weather, including flooding and drought.

Go deeper: The next generation of gene editing tools

Bonus: Pics du jour

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Above: Newly elected members of the House of Representatives pose for an official class photo.

  • In an election today, Rep. Kevin McCarthy defeated Rep. Jim Jordan to become the next Republican minority leader.

Meanwhile, in the Senate: Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer were re-elected as the majority and minority leaders of the Senate, respectively.

2. What you missed
  1. Fox News is supporting CNN's lawsuit against the Trump administration over the White House's revocation of Jim Acosta's press pass. Go deeper.
  2. A team of lawyers from the conservative Federalist Society have formed a group dedicated to highlighting the Trump administration's perceived flouting of constitutional and legal norms. Go deeper.
  3. The U.S. will have spent almost $6 trillion on the war on terror by the end of fiscal year 2019, according to an annual report out today.
  4. Another House GOP seat flips blue: Democratic newcomer Andy Kim defeated incumbent Republican Tom MacArthur of New Jersey. Go deeper.
  5. Uber's net loss for the quarter on a GAAP basis was $1.07 billion — larger than Uber's loss of $891 million in Q2. Go deeper.
  6. The New York Times dove deep into Facebook's scramble to contain more than a year of controversy, including the use of hard-edged political tactics and top executives' influence with lawmakers. Go deeper.
3. 1 ✈️ thing

The WSJ ranked the big airports in the U.S. along criteria ranging from "security-line wait times, Wi-Fi speed, average Yelp scores for restaurants, average fares, Uber cost to the local convention center, rental-car taxes and fees, number of nonstop destinations and market dominance of the largest airline."

The top 10, ranked:

  1. Denver
  2. Orlando
  3. Phoenix
  4. Atlanta
  5. Dallas-Fort Worth
  6. Las Vegas
  7. Seattle-Tacoma
  8. Charlotte
  9. Los Angeles
  10. Boston
Mike Allen