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# Scientists have modified feed corn genetically

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Scientists have modified feed corn genetically [#permalink]

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13 May 2010, 01:45
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Scientists have modified feed corn genetically, increasing its resistance to insect pests. Farmers who tried out the genetically modifi ed corn last season applied less insecticide to their corn fi elds and still got yields comparable to those they would have gotten with ordinary corn. Ordinary corn seed, however, costs less, and what these farmers saved on insecticide rarely exceeded their extra costs for seed. Therefore, for most feed-corn farmers, switching to genetically modifi ed seed would be unlikely to increase profits.

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

(A) Whether there are insect pests that sometimes reduce feed-corn yields, but against which commonly used insecticides and the genetic modifi cation are equally ineffective

(B) Whether the price that farmers receive for feed corn has remained steady over the past few years

(C) Whether the insecticides typically used on feed corn tend to be more expensive than insecticides typically used on other crops

(D) Whether most of the farmers who tried the genetically modifi ed corn last season applied more insecticide than was actually necessary

(E) Whether, for most farmers who plant feed corn, it is their most profitable crop
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: Scientists have modified feed corn genetically [#permalink]

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13 May 2010, 02:30
Scientists have modified feed corn genetically, increasing its resistance to insect pests. Farmers who tried out the genetically modifi ed corn last season applied less insecticide to their corn fi elds and still got yields comparable to those they would have gotten with ordinary corn. Ordinary corn seed, however, costs less, and what these farmers saved on insecticide rarely exceeded their extra costs for seed. Therefore, for most feed-corn farmers, switching to genetically modifi ed seed would be unlikely to increase profits.

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

here :
Conclusion :Therefore, for most feed-corn farmers, switching to genetically modified seed would be unlikely to increase profits. ( here we attack profits ). So Answer must be in terms of (cost) or ( price.)

(A) Whether there are insect pests that sometimes reduce feed-corn yields, but against which commonly used insecticides and the genetic modifi cation are equally ineffective ( not need)

(B) Whether the price that farmers receive for feed corn has remained steady over the past few years ( OK)

(C) Whether the insecticides typically used on feed corn tend to be more expensive than insecticides typically used on other crops (no use.. comparing feed corn with other corn (attack the insectisides )

(D) Whether most of the farmers who tried the genetically modifi ed corn last season applied more insecticide than was actually necessary (attck the crop on its effiiency )

(E) Whether, for most farmers who plant feed corn, it is their most profi table crop - irrelavent

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Re: Scientists have modified feed corn genetically [#permalink]

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13 May 2010, 02:46
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ykaiim wrote:
Scientists have modified feed corn genetically, increasing its resistance to insect pests. Farmers who tried out the genetically modifi ed corn last season applied less insecticide to their corn fi elds and still got yields comparable to those they would have gotten with ordinary corn. Ordinary corn seed, however, costs less, and what these farmers saved on insecticide rarely exceeded their extra costs for seed. Therefore, for most feed-corn farmers, switching to genetically modifi ed seed would be unlikely to increase profits.

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

(A) Whether there are insect pests that sometimes reduce feed-corn yields, but against which commonly used insecticides and the genetic modifi cation are equally ineffective>>> Out of scope
(B) Whether the price that farmers receive for feed corn has remained steady over the past few years >>> This in general >>> Output is feed corn in both the cases>>> Topic at issue is type of seeds used and other expenses.
(C) Whether the insecticides typically used on feed corn tend to be more expensive than insecticides typically used on other crops.>>> Even if the insecticide with new crop are more expensive...the amount of insecticides used MAY or MAY NOT drive the overall cost down..!!!
(D) Whether most of the farmers who tried the genetically modified corn last season applied more insecticide than was actually necessary>>>> Given the profit was comparable, BUT if amount of insecticides with new crop would have reduced...We definitely get profit with new crop..!! >>>CORRECT
(E) Whether, for most farmers who plant feed corn, it is their most profi table crop.>>> Out of scope

IMHO D.
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Re: Scientists have modified feed corn genetically [#permalink]

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13 May 2010, 09:33
Between B and D. I go with B.

D >> The issue is whether the savings in the cost of ordinary corn seeds offset the cost of pesticides (for ordinary corn). It is given that GM corn uses less pesticide and still gives comparable output. If it was a 'weaken the argument' question I would have gone with D.

B >> When we have the word 'profit' we have to think about the sale price. So it will be good to get this information in order to derive the conclusion.

OA?
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Re: Scientists have modified feed corn genetically [#permalink]

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13 May 2010, 12:58
Hi Economist , ur explanation does make sense but why would we care about the price of the feed corn that farmers received in the past....i did not consider this option because the conclusion is about the profits in the future....i am sure i am missing something...
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Re: Scientists have modified feed corn genetically [#permalink]

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14 May 2010, 02:17
I think its D and not B b'caz the argument is comparing the yield in last year with current year so there shouldnot be any issue/consideration about last year's profit and current year's profit...
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Re: Scientists have modified feed corn genetically [#permalink]

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14 May 2010, 08:19
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ykaiim wrote:
Scientists have modified feed corn genetically, increasing its resistance to insect pests. Farmers who tried out the genetically modifi ed corn last season applied less insecticide to their corn fi elds and still got yields comparable to those they would have gotten with ordinary corn. Ordinary corn seed, however, costs less, and what these farmers saved on insecticide rarely exceeded their extra costs for seed. Therefore, for most feed-corn farmers, switching to genetically modifi ed seed would be unlikely to increase profits.

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

(A) Whether there are insect pests that sometimes reduce feed-corn yields, but against which commonly used insecticides and the genetic modifi cation are equally ineffective
(B) Whether the price that farmers receive for feed corn has remained steady over the past few years
(C) Whether the insecticides typically used on feed corn tend to be more expensive than insecticides typically used on other crops
(D) Whether most of the farmers who tried the genetically modified corn last season applied more insecticide than was actually necessary
(E) Whether, for most farmers who plant feed corn, it is their most profi table crop

It has to either B or D.
I would go with D.
Reason: Conclusion of the argument is switching to genetically modified seed would be unlikely to increase profits. Profit can increase in case the input cost decreases or output price increases.
D: From the stmt directly we can say whether profit increases or remain same.

Hence D.
whats OA?
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Re: Scientists have modified feed corn genetically [#permalink]

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14 May 2010, 10:53
D!
Are you guys kidding with B? that is a dumb move

The question is asking what statements would likely affect the argument..the argument which is switching over to genetically modified feed corn is or isn't profitable. D affects the profitability of such a move. B talks about price of feed corn being steady over the past several years. It does not really matter what the price was in the past...that does not affect the profitability question going forward. Whether it was stable or fluctuating does not help me make a decision whether to switch to genetically modified feed or not. I would have to make an assumption that if it were fluctuating in the past it would be fluctuating in the future. I can't make assumptions like that on a critical reasoning question. B is too far a stretch.
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Re: Scientists have modified feed corn genetically [#permalink]

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15 May 2010, 03:31
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option B is completely vague, if the price is not steady then either it may go down or up . so we are not sure that price is going up or down so the profits can go up or down, whereas in option D we are saving on Cost hence more the saving more the profit hence D must be the ans
what is the OA
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Re: Scientists have modified feed corn genetically [#permalink]

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15 May 2010, 04:43

ThE oA iS:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
D

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Re: Scientists have modified feed corn genetically [#permalink]

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10 Oct 2010, 07:10
said B the prices of GM corn have risen, would that lead to any change in answer?

you know, I felt that if the money that farmer used to get for typical corn was less than the amount they may earn for GM corn, the argument would be questioned! am I wrong?
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Re: Scientists have modified feed corn genetically [#permalink]

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08 Nov 2010, 08:42
simple D
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Re: Scientists have modified feed corn genetically [#permalink]

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09 Nov 2010, 13:05
D...
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Re: Scientists have modified feed corn genetically [#permalink]

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28 Apr 2011, 11:06
clear enough D .
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Re: Scientists have modified feed corn genetically [#permalink]

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28 Apr 2011, 11:08
A, B, and E are clearly irrelevant. D seems superior to C as the insecticide would presumably be the same to make this a basis of comparison. D it is.
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Re: Scientists have modified feed corn genetically [#permalink]

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28 Apr 2011, 22:44
Clear shot D.
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Re: Scientists have modified feed corn genetically [#permalink]

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28 Apr 2011, 22:52
Good question!!
I have chosen B initially,but D seems to be the right candidate.
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Re: Scientists have modified feed corn genetically [#permalink]

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06 Oct 2011, 10:56
Scientists have modified feed corn genetically, increasing its resistance to insect pests. Farmers who tried out the genetically modified corn last season applied less insecticide to their corn fields and still got yields comparable to those they would have gotten with ordinary corn. Ordinary corn seed, however, costs less, and what these farmers saved on insecticide rarely exceeded their extra costs for seed. Therefore, for most feed-corn farmers, switching to genetically modified seed would be unlikely to increase profits.

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

(D) Whether most of the farmers who tried the genetically modified corn last season applied more insecticide than was actually necessary Answer = NO
The argument already mentioned that Less insecticide was applied,

I choose A because: More Yield => More Sale => Higher Profit, so according to A if there are insect pests that couldn't be eradicated both by insecticides and by genetic modification, which will result in lower yeild => lower sale=> lower profit, Hence switching from ordinary seed to genetic is useless ...
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Re: Scientists have modified feed corn genetically [#permalink]

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24 Feb 2012, 17:31
I was going to post this question, but I found my answer. Thanks guys!!
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Re: Scientists have modified feed corn genetically [#permalink]

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08 Dec 2012, 02:17
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Of course, we know the OA and we also know the reasoning. Still let us see the logical flow of the argument.

For same yield,

Premise 1: Conventional Corn-- uses X kg of Pesticide but seed is less expensive.
Premise 2: GM Corn-- uses 'less than X kg' of Pesticide but seed is expensive.
Conclusion: Though 'less than X kg' of Pesticide but seed is expensive. So, No profit INCREASE.

Assumption: Profit = Selling Price - Total Cost (pesticide + seed)

Option D introduces a new information which states that 'less than X kg' is still very high than 'actually necessary'. So, if we accept the info provided by Option D, Total Cost will reduce if we use only 'necessary' qty of pesticide.

For those, who still find Option A and Option B convincing, read below:

A. (I am not very happy with Official explanation given in the book but there is still another big flaw)
Insects SOMETIMES might infest the crop and neither pesticide or genetic modification will save it. So what, it might infest the crop once in a century. These unavoidable apocalyptic events might happen sometime. We should not take SOMETIMES occurring events to affect our decisions.

Take for example a situation:
Mayor: We should build a high rise building to accommodate people living in slums, which occupy large city area. The area saved can be used to build schools and hospitals.
Citizen: In every 10000 years, one earthquake hits the city. So, we should not build the high rise building because an earthquake might occur SOMETIME.

You know how dumb that citizen will sound!

B. If Selling Price increases, Profit will increase same for both types of farming, unless the changes in cost in Conventional farming are different from those in GM farming.
Re: Scientists have modified feed corn genetically   [#permalink] 08 Dec 2012, 02:17

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