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# Consumer advocate: In some countries, certain produce is

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Joined: 30 Jan 2016
Posts: 1158

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01 Aug 2017, 10:45
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Difficulty:

75% (hard)

Question Stats:

53% (02:06) correct 47% (02:25) wrong based on 262 sessions

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Consumer advocate: In some countries, certain produce is routinely irradiated with gamma rays in order to extend shelf life. There are, however, good reasons to avoid irradiated foods. First, they are exposed to the radioactive substances that produce the gamma rays. Second, irradiation can reduce the vitamin content of fresh foods, leaving behind harmful chemical residues. Third, irradiation spawns unique radiolytic products that cause serious health problems, including cancer.

Each of the following, if true, weakens the consumer advocate’s argument EXCEPT:

(A) Unique radiolytic products have seldom been found in any irradiated food.
(B) Cancer and other serious health problems have many causes that are unrelated to radioactive substances and gamma rays.
(C) A study showed that irradiation leaves the vitamin content of virtually all fruits and vegetables unchanged.
(D) The amount of harmful chemicals found in irradiated foods is less than the amount that occurs naturally in most kinds of foods.
(E) A study showed that the cancer rate is no higher among people who eat irradiated food than among those who do not.

Source: LSAT

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02 Aug 2017, 06:10
Good Question.

Conclusion: Using Irradiation is not a good idea.

Premise:

Three reasons
1. Radioactive elements present in these rays and then may get into the food.
2. Health Problems
3. Vitamin Content reduced.

We need to find 4 weakeners of the conclusion.

I can find something that says these reasons are still better than what would have happened otherwise.

(A) Unique radiolytic products have seldom been found in any irradiated food. --> Okay, it is saying Reason 1 is not happening. OUT.

(B) Cancer and other serious health problems have many causes that are unrelated to radioactive substances and gamma rays.

(C) A study showed that irradiation leaves the vitamin content of virtually all fruits and vegetables unchanged. --> Vitamin is not changed. Awesome. OUT.

(D) The amount of harmful chemicals found in irradiated foods is less than the amount that occurs naturally in most kinds of foods. --> Oh, still better than the normal found. OUT.

(E) A study showed that the cancer rate is no higher among people who eat irradiated food than among those who do not. --> ok, same rate with or without. OUT.
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Joined: 20 Jan 2016
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03 Aug 2017, 08:39
I am confused with the OA. Doesn't option B weaken the argument?

The conclusion is that irradiation is harmful. Weakening it would be:
1) it is not harmful or
2) the reasons provided in the argument isn't caused my irradiation.

"Cancer and other serious health problems have many causes that are unrelated to radioactive substances and gamma rays."
The statement above means that cancer is not related to the radioactive substances hence weakening the argument.

Can someone explain my mistake in understanding this?
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Joined: 06 Jul 2016
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Location: Singapore
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03 Aug 2017, 08:48
3
pra1785 wrote:
I am confused with the OA. Doesn't option B weaken the argument?

The conclusion is that irradiation is harmful. Weakening it would be:
1) it is not harmful or
2) the reasons provided in the argument isn't caused my irradiation.

"Cancer and other serious health problems have many causes that are unrelated to radioactive substances and gamma rays."
The statement above means that cancer is not related to the radioactive substances hence weakening the argument.

Can someone explain my mistake in understanding this?

Nope B isn't weakening the argument. It isn't doing much at all.
B states that there are other causes of cancer that have nothing to do with radioactive substances and gamma rays. This is great to know, but this doesn't say that gamma rays and radioactive substances Do NOT cause cancer, and other diseases. So it's neither weakening, nor strengthening the argument.

Hope this helps!
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03 Aug 2017, 11:24
akshayk wrote:
pra1785 wrote:
I am confused with the OA. Doesn't option B weaken the argument?

The conclusion is that irradiation is harmful. Weakening it would be:
1) it is not harmful or
2) the reasons provided in the argument isn't caused my irradiation.

"Cancer and other serious health problems have many causes that are unrelated to radioactive substances and gamma rays."
The statement above means that cancer is not related to the radioactive substances hence weakening the argument.

Can someone explain my mistake in understanding this?

Nope B isn't weakening the argument. It isn't doing much at all.
B states that there are other causes of cancer that have nothing to do with radioactive substances and gamma rays. This is great to know, but this doesn't say that gamma rays and radioactive substances Do NOT cause cancer, and other diseases. So it's neither weakening, nor strengthening the argument.

Hope this helps!

Alright, that makes sense. I now see that the statement doesn't say explicitly that radioactive substances and gamma rays doesn't cause cancer. I probably assumed that when I chose the answer.

Thanks for the clarification!
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Joined: 04 Jul 2017
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06 Aug 2017, 01:10
I think the stem is wrongly phrased. Shuould have been strengtheners instead of weakeners .
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12 Aug 2017, 15:25
Thanks akshayk for the explanation!

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16 Feb 2019, 07:15
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Re: Consumer advocate: In some countries, certain produce is   [#permalink] 16 Feb 2019, 07:15
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