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Using Nuclear Science to Control Pests

Producer: Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture (NAFA)

For over 50 years, the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) has been successfully used around the world to tackle pests that destroy fruit and kill livestock. The method uses radiation to sterilize male flies, which are mass-produced in rearing facilities. Large numbers of sterile males are released into a target area, where they mate with wild females. No offspring are produced, and the wild fly population declines over time. Once established, this technique provides sustainable, cost-effective and environmentally-friendly insect control.

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