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Activist: Food producers irradiate food in order to prolong

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Activist: Food producers irradiate food in order to prolong [#permalink] New post 01 Oct 2012, 01:02
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Question Stats:

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Activist: Food producers irradiate food in order to prolong its shelf life. Five animal studies were recently conducted to investigate whether this food process alters food in a way that could be dangerous to people who eat it. The studies concluded that irradiated food is safe for humans who eat it. However, these studies were subsequently found by a panel of individual scientists to be seriously flawed in their methodology, it follows that irradiated food is not safe for human consumption

The reasoning is flawed because:
a. treats failure to prove a claim as constituting proof of denial of that claim
b. treats methodological flaws in the past studies as proof that it is currently not possible to devise methodologically adequate alternatives
c. fails to consider that possibility that even a study whose methodology has no serious flaws nonentheless might only provide weak support for its conclusion
d. fails to consider the posibility that what is safe for animals might not be always safe for humans
e. fails to establish that the independent scientists know more about the food irradiation than do the people who produced the five studies
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Last edited by getgyan on 03 Oct 2012, 00:21, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Activist: Food producers irradiate food [#permalink] New post 01 Oct 2012, 08:28
A is the correct one.

In simple terms the reasoning is flawed because, it comes to conclusion (irradiated food is not safe for human consumption) based on the fact that methodology was flawed. The food can still be safe or harmful for humans irrespective of vailidity of methodology.

a. treats failure to prove a claim as constituting proof of denial of that claim << Answer.

b. treats methodological flaws in the past studies as proof that it is currently not possible to devise methodologically adequate alternatives << Assumption. Not the answer here.

c. fails to consider that possibility that even a study whose methodology has no serious flaws nonentheless might only provide weak support for its conclusion << Uses the same jargon of given argument. But does not add value.

d. fails to consider the posibility that what is safe for animals might not be always safe for humans >> Out of scope

e. fails to establish that the independent scientists know more about the food irradiation than do the people who produced the five studies >> Out of scope
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Re: Activist: Food producers irradiate food in order to prolong [#permalink] New post 02 Oct 2012, 21:57
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Expert's post
getgyan wrote:
Activist: Food producers irradiate food in order to prolong its shelf life. Five animal studies were recently conducted to investigate whether this food process alters food in a way that could be dangerous to people who eat it. The studies concluded that irradiated food is safe for humans who eat it. However, these studies were subsequently found by a panel of individual scientists to be seriously flawed in their methodology, it follows that irradiated food is not safe for human consumption

The reasoning is flawed because:
a. treats failure to prove a claim as constituting proof of denial of that claim
b. treats methodological flaws in the past studies as proof that it is currently not possible to devise methodologically adequate alternatives
c. fails to consider that possibility that even a study whose methodology has no serious flaws nonentheless might only provide weak support for its conclusion
d. fails to consider the posibility that what is safe for animals might not be always safe for humans
e. fails to establish that the independent scientists know more about the food irradiation than do the people who produced the five studies


Before getting into the terminology given in the options, try to figure out the flaw on your own.

Study concluded that irradiated food is safe for human consumption. Later scientists found that these studies used flawed methodology.
Conclusion: Irradiated food is not safe.

Isn't the conclusion flawed? If the study's methodology was flawed, we can say that whatever the study concluded is invalid and not reliable. We cannot say that irradiated food is safe for sure. But, can we say that it is NOT safe? No, the study tried to prove that the food is safe but since the methods were not dependable, we can ignore the study. This means that we have still reached nowhere. We still haven't found out whether irradiated food is safe or not. We need to wait for another study with reliable methods to find out.
This is why the argument is flawed.

Now look at the options:
(A) treats failure to prove a claim as constituting proof of denial of that claim

a claim - Irradiated food is safe
denial of that claim - Irradiated food is not safe

The argument does treat 'failure to prove a claim' (i.e. the study failed to prove that irradiated food is safe) as constituting 'proof of denial of that claim' (it claims that since the study failed, it is proof that irradiated food is not safe)

Hence (A) is your answer.

No other option provides you this flaw.
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Re: Activist: Food producers irradiate food in order to prolong [#permalink] New post 13 Oct 2013, 10:52
Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up - doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos).

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Re: Activist: Food producers irradiate food in order to prolong   [#permalink] 13 Oct 2013, 10:52
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