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Scientists have made genetic modifications to cotton to [#permalink]
12 Aug 2005, 07:12
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Scientists have made genetic modifications to cotton to increase its resistance to insect pests. According to farmersâ€™ report, the amount of insecticide needed per acre to control insect pests was only slightly lower for those who tried the modified seed than for those who did not. Therefore, since the modified seed costs more than ordinary seed without producing yields of higher market value, switching to the modified seed would be unlikely to benefit most cotton farmers economically.
Which of the following would it be most useful to know in order to evaluate the argument?
A. Whether farmers who tried the modified cotton seed had ever tried growing other crops from genetically modified seed.
B. Whether the insecticides typically used on ordinary cotton tend to be more expensive than insecticides typically used on other crops.
C. Whether for most farms who grow cotton it is their primary crop
D. Whether the farmers who have tried the modified speed planted as many acres of cotton, on average, as farmers using the ordinary seed did.
E. Whether most of the farmers who tried the modified seed did so because they had previously had to use exceptionally large quantities of insecticide.
It seems to me that E is correct since knowing whether the farmers tried the modified seed because they were looking for a cost advantage by not using large quantities of insecticide would help in evaluating the argument that they would not have a cost advantage.
A - Irrelevant
C - Irrelevant
D - Out. Since argument talks about "the amount of insecticide needed per acre". So, information about area will not help.
E - Out. It does not matter even if farmers are using it because they had to use exceptionally large quantities of insecticide; it does not help evaluate argument.
'B' can help. Even if quantity of insecticide needed for modified seeds is slightly lesser than that for ordinary seeds, it will make large difference if the cost of insecticide is much more.
I think E is correct for a different reason. The farmers report says that the benefit is slight for only one acre. However, if as E asks whether the farmers are using exceptionally large quantities of insecticide, then the savings as a result of using the new cotton seed would be noticeable.
IMO E is the answer, because if the farmers did not go to genetically modififed cotton for insecticide cost saving (let us say they went for it because it grows faster) then the argument (the genetically modificed seed is unlikely to benefit the farmers) falls apart..
If insecticides typically used on ordinary cotton tend to be more expensive than insecticides typically used on other crops, then it might be beneficial to farmers to use modified seeds even if they cost more w/o producing yields of higher values.