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Certain genetically modified strains of maize produce a

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Senior Manager
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Joined: 05 Nov 2012
Posts: 327
Concentration: Technology, Other
GMAT 1: Q47 V29
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Certain genetically modified strains of maize produce a [#permalink] New post 07 Jan 2015, 21:35
My 2 cents. Though E and C both sound a valid contender, there are couple of reasons to prefer C over E.

Premise:
Certain genetically modified strains of maize produce a powerful natural insecticide.
The insecticide occurs throughout the plant, including its pollen. Maize pollen is dispersed by the wind and frequently blows onto milkweed plants that grow near maize fields.
Caterpillars of monarch butterflies feed exclusively on milkweed leaves. When these caterpillars are fed milkweed leaves dusted with pollen from modified maize plants, they die.

Conclusion:
Therefore, by using genetically modified maize, farmers put monarch butterflies at risk.

Which of the following would it be most useful to determine in order to evaluate the argument?

E. Whether any maize-eating insects compete with monarch caterpillars for the leaves of milkweed plants growing near maize fields
>>There can be multiple possibilities here. It may be that insects compete with MC for leaves when maze r not in pollen phase,, a very small proportion of insects competes with MC Or, insects and MC eats different part of leaves. etc.
If any of these options are true then we can't confidently evaluate the argument. Also C mentions pollen and MC feeding period, a link that is mentioned in premise and a crucial factor to evaluate the argument.

C. Whether monarch butterfly caterpillars are actively feeding during the part of the growing season when maize is releasing pollen.
Yes: Yes it supports the conclusion.
No: Then it weaken the conclusion.

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Certain genetically modified strains of maize produce a   [#permalink] 07 Jan 2015, 21:35
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Certain genetically modified strains of maize produce a

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