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# Consumer Advocate: The current obsession with low

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Current Student
Joined: 29 Jan 2005
Posts: 5218

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07 May 2005, 20:13
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Consumer Advocate: The current obsession with low carbohydrate diets, not the decreased number of imported cattle due to mad cow disease concerns, is the cause of higher milk prices. Farmers, in order to reap greater profits from the sale of beef, have been slaughtering animals previously reserved for the production of milk.

Which of the following, if introduced into the argument as an additional premise, makes the argument above logically valid?

(A) Milk production is either less profitable or as profitable as the sale of beef.
(B) Milk production is more profitable then the sale of beef.
(C) The number of cows required to produce a shipment of beef for 100 people is greater than the number of cows required to produce a shipment of milk for the same number of people.
(D) Raising cows to produce milk is less expensive than raising cows to slaughter for beef.
(E) Low carbohydrate diets encourage mass consumption of dairy products.
Director
Joined: 14 Jul 2004
Posts: 698

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08 May 2005, 17:23
GMATT73 wrote:
Consumer Advocate: The current obsession with low carbohydrate diets, not the decreased number of imported cattle due to mad cow disease concerns, is the cause of higher milk prices. Farmers, in order to reap greater profits from the sale of beef, have been slaughtering animals previously reserved for the production of milk.

Which of the following, if introduced into the argument as an additional premise, makes the argument above logically valid?

(A) Milk production is either less profitable or as profitable as the sale of beef.
(B) Milk production is more profitable then the sale of beef.
(C) The number of cows required to produce a shipment of beef for 100 people is greater than the number of cows required to produce a shipment of milk for the same number of people.
(D) Raising cows to produce milk is less expensive than raising cows to slaughter for beef.
(E) Low carbohydrate diets encourage mass consumption of dairy products.

My AC iS E. Here is why.

Question Type: Identify premise.

Conclusion: The current obsession with low carb diet is the cause for higher prices.

A: If milk is less profitable or as profitable as sales of beef" then how does that explain/substaintiate the cause of rise in milk prices?
B: If milk is more profitable than beef then why slaughter cattle to make more beef?
C: Irrelevant.
D: Out of Scope. No one cares about comparison of costs between raising cows for milk Vs raising cows for beef.
E: Strengthens the conclusion. If low carb diet encourages mass consumption of dairy products it nicely explains why obsession with low carb diet bumps up the milk price.
VP
Joined: 25 Nov 2004
Posts: 1483

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08 May 2005, 22:32
Vithal wrote:
will choose A again!

agree with vithal.
if milk is not as profitable or is equally profitable as beef, then only farmers are in profit or at least not in loss to slaughtering the cowes reserved for molk production.
Director
Joined: 01 Feb 2003
Posts: 844

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09 May 2005, 01:00
gmataquaguy wrote:
GMATT73 wrote:
Consumer Advocate: The current obsession with low carbohydrate diets, not the decreased number of imported cattle due to mad cow disease concerns, is the cause of higher milk prices. Farmers, in order to reap greater profits from the sale of beef, have been slaughtering animals previously reserved for the production of milk.

Which of the following, if introduced into the argument as an additional premise, makes the argument above logically valid?

(A) Milk production is either less profitable or as profitable as the sale of beef.
(B) Milk production is more profitable then the sale of beef.
(C) The number of cows required to produce a shipment of beef for 100 people is greater than the number of cows required to produce a shipment of milk for the same number of people.
(D) Raising cows to produce milk is less expensive than raising cows to slaughter for beef.
(E) Low carbohydrate diets encourage mass consumption of dairy products.

My AC iS E. Here is why.

Question Type: Identify premise.

Conclusion: The current obsession with low carb diet is the cause for higher prices.

A: If milk is less profitable or as profitable as sales of beef" then how does that explain/substaintiate the cause of rise in milk prices?
B: If milk is more profitable than beef then why slaughter cattle to make more beef?
C: Irrelevant.
D: Out of Scope. No one cares about comparison of costs between raising cows for milk Vs raising cows for beef.
E: Strengthens the conclusion. If low carb diet encourages mass consumption of dairy products it nicely explains why obsession with low carb diet bumps up the milk price.

IMO, you have identified the conclusion correctly, but, the argument goes on to introduce a premise "farmers slaughter catttle, which used to give milk". This statement implies that people do not want to consume milk. An additional statement which would support this is A.
Manager
Joined: 12 May 2004
Posts: 126

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09 May 2005, 03:55
Another for A. Because of high price of milk and less effectiveness of milk production, the farmers have changed the way of business, from milk production to beef saling "in order to reap greater profits"
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Regards,
Wunderbar03

GMAT Club Legend
Joined: 07 Jul 2004
Posts: 5043
Location: Singapore

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09 May 2005, 17:31
(A) Milk production is either less profitable or as profitable as the sale of beef.
- Does not emphazise the need to increase milk prices based on the prmises already given

(B) Milk production is more profitable then the sale of beef.
- Out. Talks about production and profitability

(C) The number of cows required to produce a shipment of beef for 100 people is greater than the number of cows required to produce a shipment of milk for the same number of people.
- Not important. Nothing about the cost of milk

(D) Raising cows to produce milk is less expensive than raising cows to slaughter for beef.
- Not important. Still does not explain why cost of milk went up.

(E) Low carbohydrate diets encourage mass consumption of dairy products.

E is my chioce
GMAT Club Legend
Joined: 07 Jul 2004
Posts: 5043
Location: Singapore

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09 May 2005, 17:33
1) The current obsession with low carbohydrate diets is the cause of higher milk prices

2) The decreased number of imported cattle due to mad cow disease concerns is not the cause of higher milk prices.

3) Farmers, in order to reap greater profits from the sale of beef, have been slaughtering animals previously reserved for the production of milk.

Oops, should be A. The conclusion in this passage should be (3). (1) and (2) are in fact, premises that are nescessary for (3) to hold.
Intern
Joined: 16 Oct 2004
Posts: 43

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10 May 2005, 07:29
I think E.

(A) Milk production is either less profitable or as profitable as the sale of beef.
- the "as profitable as"... seems
to be an inadequate reason to chose beef over milk.

(B) Milk production is more profitable then the sale of beef.
- totally negates

(C) The number of cows required to produce a shipment of beef for 100 people is greater than the number of cows required to produce a shipment of milk for the same number of people.
- wrong comparison since milk will be produced again, and hence we can have more shipments of milk again and agin

(D) Raising cows to produce milk is less expensive than raising cows to slaughter for beef.
- negates

(E) Low carbohydrate diets encourage mass consumption of dairy products.
- seems correct.
Low carbohydrate => more dairy products required => more milk required, but less cows
due to slaughter and and
hence 2 reasons for higher milk prices.
Current Student
Joined: 29 Jan 2005
Posts: 5218

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10 May 2005, 07:39
OA is A.

Explanation:
Strengthen Question - something that "makes the argument logically valid" strengthens the argument.

Task: Find the assumptions in order to support one of them.

Read the Argument and Extract the Necessary Information:

The argument states that the increased cost is due to lower milk production and assumes there are no other possible causes for the price increase.

Formulate an Answer to the Question:
Support the assumption by removing alternate causes.

(A) Strengthens.

(B) Weakens. This choice would weaken the argument by introducing a fact that is contrary to the conclusion.

(C) Weakens. This choice would weaken the argument by introducing a fact that shows that milk production may be less expensive when like numbers of people are compared.

(C) Weakens. This choice would weaken the argument by introducing a fact that shows that milk production may be less expensive when the cost of raising the cows is considered.

(E) Weakens. This choice indicates that low carb diets are the cause of increased demand for milk, which suggests a possible explanation for increased cost.
Director
Joined: 14 Jul 2004
Posts: 698

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10 May 2005, 19:00
Vithal wrote:
gmataquaguy wrote:
GMATT73 wrote:
Consumer Advocate: The current obsession with low carbohydrate diets, not the decreased number of imported cattle due to mad cow disease concerns, is the cause of higher milk prices. Farmers, in order to reap greater profits from the sale of beef, have been slaughtering animals previously reserved for the production of milk.

Which of the following, if introduced into the argument as an additional premise, makes the argument above logically valid?

(A) Milk production is either less profitable or as profitable as the sale of beef.
(B) Milk production is more profitable then the sale of beef.
(C) The number of cows required to produce a shipment of beef for 100 people is greater than the number of cows required to produce a shipment of milk for the same number of people.
(D) Raising cows to produce milk is less expensive than raising cows to slaughter for beef.
(E) Low carbohydrate diets encourage mass consumption of dairy products.

My AC iS E. Here is why.

Question Type: Identify premise.

Conclusion: The current obsession with low carb diet is the cause for higher prices.

A: If milk is less profitable or as profitable as sales of beef" then how does that explain/substaintiate the cause of rise in milk prices?
B: If milk is more profitable than beef then why slaughter cattle to make more beef?
C: Irrelevant.
D: Out of Scope. No one cares about comparison of costs between raising cows for milk Vs raising cows for beef.
E: Strengthens the conclusion. If low carb diet encourages mass consumption of dairy products it nicely explains why obsession with low carb diet bumps up the milk price.

IMO, you have identified the conclusion correctly, but, the argument goes on to introduce a premise "farmers slaughter catttle, which used to give milk". This statement implies that people do not want to consume milk. An additional statement which would support this is A.

Vithal, what you say seems to make sense. I have a follow up question:

Is it a common rule that to strengthen a conlusion, its often enough to okay to find an "answer choice" [new information not mentioned in the passage stem] that strengthens the premise?

Is strengthening the "premise" equate to strengthening the conclusion. And weakening the "premise' equate to weaking the conclusion?

I read somewhere [dunno where] that attacking the premise or supporting the premise is a no, no? Is this inaccurate?

Your example seems to prove the aforementioned rule is a "BAD RULE"...
Could someone comment?
Director
Joined: 01 Feb 2003
Posts: 844

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12 May 2005, 17:35
gmataquaguy wrote:
Vithal wrote:
gmataquaguy wrote:
GMATT73 wrote:
Consumer Advocate: The current obsession with low carbohydrate diets, not the decreased number of imported cattle due to mad cow disease concerns, is the cause of higher milk prices. Farmers, in order to reap greater profits from the sale of beef, have been slaughtering animals previously reserved for the production of milk.

Which of the following, if introduced into the argument as an additional premise, makes the argument above logically valid?

(A) Milk production is either less profitable or as profitable as the sale of beef.
(B) Milk production is more profitable then the sale of beef.
(C) The number of cows required to produce a shipment of beef for 100 people is greater than the number of cows required to produce a shipment of milk for the same number of people.
(D) Raising cows to produce milk is less expensive than raising cows to slaughter for beef.
(E) Low carbohydrate diets encourage mass consumption of dairy products.

My AC iS E. Here is why.

Question Type: Identify premise.

Conclusion: The current obsession with low carb diet is the cause for higher prices.

A: If milk is less profitable or as profitable as sales of beef" then how does that explain/substaintiate the cause of rise in milk prices?
B: If milk is more profitable than beef then why slaughter cattle to make more beef?
C: Irrelevant.
D: Out of Scope. No one cares about comparison of costs between raising cows for milk Vs raising cows for beef.
E: Strengthens the conclusion. If low carb diet encourages mass consumption of dairy products it nicely explains why obsession with low carb diet bumps up the milk price.

IMO, you have identified the conclusion correctly, but, the argument goes on to introduce a premise "farmers slaughter catttle, which used to give milk". This statement implies that people do not want to consume milk. An additional statement which would support this is A.

Vithal, what you say seems to make sense. I have a follow up question:

Is it a common rule that to strengthen a conlusion, its often enough to okay to find an "answer choice" [new information not mentioned in the passage stem] that strengthens the premise?

Is strengthening the "premise" equate to strengthening the conclusion. And weakening the "premise' equate to weaking the conclusion?

I read somewhere [dunno where] that attacking the premise or supporting the premise is a no, no? Is this inaccurate?

Your example seems to prove the aforementioned rule is a "BAD RULE"...
Could someone comment?

A couple of things to note:
(i) this is NOT a strengthen/weaken question
(ii) IMO, in strengthening questions - an answer choice which supports the facts/premise presented or which ever option covers any loop holes within the argument with the additional information presented would be correct. However, in weaken questions, I would look mainly for negation of the assumption made in the argument.

Also, any argument will have multiple assumptions. Typically we have the task of finding just one assumption. Which ever option adds fuel to those other assumptions would be a right candidate for strengthen question.

Hong - or other CR experts (Christoph,GMATT73,Ywilfred, MA etc) please provide your two cents on this.
SVP
Joined: 03 Jan 2005
Posts: 2233

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19 May 2005, 23:14
First, an observation. (A) and (B) are complementary to each other. When I see choices like this in a question, I'd almost think the correct answer would be from these, for if one is not correct, you can almost say the other has to be correct.

But let's take a more serious look:

Premise: Farmers have been slaughtering cows that should have been reserved for the production of milk. (Less milk, thus higher milk price.)
Conclusion: The obsession with low carb diet is the reason of milk price increase.

What is the missing link here? This is exactly what the question asks us.

What is the link between low carb obsession and farmers' slaughtering of cows?

Low carb diets will encourage people eat less carb and thus more of meat and diaries. Why would farmers try to produce more meat instead of more milk? The only thing we need would be that meat is more profitable than milk. This is why A is correct.

(E) Low carbohydrate diets encourage mass consumption of dairy products.
Yes it may, and it also may encourage consumption of meat. But it doesn't explain why farmers choose meat over milk.

The reason we don't consider the demand side argument here is because we need something to complete the argument presented in the stem, (which is about the supply side), not to start a new argument.
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keep on seeking, and you will find;
keep on knocking, and it will be opened to you.

Re: CR: Ranching   [#permalink] 19 May 2005, 23:14
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