An Alaska Airlines flight took off from Seattle Monday and landed at Reagan National Airport in Washington DC in what The US Department of Agriculture calls a “breakthrough in bioenergy.”

The trip was the first commercial airlines flight powered by a renewable fuel made from wood waste, in this case discarded tree limbs and branches from forests in Washington, Oregon and Montana.

The USDA says the flight is the culmination of a five-year, $39.6 million research and education project supported by the department’s National Institute of Food and Agricluture, Washington State University and the Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance.

China's tough supervision of unapproved genetically modified crops will allow for commercialization of such foods in the future. That’s according to an agriculture ministry official defending a recent crackdown on illegally grown GM corn.

China has spent billions on research of biotech crops, but it has not yet approved the planting of any GM varieties of staple food crops amid deep-seated consumer opposition.

It plans to introduce GM corn and soybeans within the next five years.

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