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Published on Dec 16, 2011
Farmers in Croatia are using nuclear technology to tackle the Mediterranean fruit fly, a common pest that poses a serious threat to the country's lucrative fruit industry. With the support of the IAEA and the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Croatia is implementing the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT). This technique, also known as "birth control for insects", suppresses populations by breeding large numbers of males that are sterilised with a short burst of radiation. When released into the wild, they breed with females who in turn produce eggs that do not hatch.