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In a world in which hunger is a problem, genetically modified crops

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In a world in which hunger is a problem, genetically modified crops  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Sep 2015, 21:26
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In a world in which hunger is a problem, genetically modified crops represent a substantial agricultural advance, because they are more resistant to weeds and disease, they produce bigger yields of crops, and they have a longer shelf life. Moreover, although there were concerns about potential human health hazards initially, genetically modified crops have been sold commercially for almost twenty years now; with lots of attention on them, if they created short- or long-term health problems, we would know about it by now.

Which of the following, if true, most weakens the argument stated above?


A. There are various ways of producing genetically modified crops, and we are likely develop a new method in the near future which poses new health risks.

B. The improved attributes of genetically modified crops have primarily benefitted not the world's hungry, but rather farmers and the owners of corporations.

C. Although we have studied the potential health impact of eating GMOs on humans, we have not studied potential disruptions to the ecosystem which would threaten human safety indirectly.

D. If companies that produce genetically modified crops discovered a human health hazard of those crops, the companies would have an incentive to downplay or even conceal their findings.

E. Places where the winters are cold rarely have a problem of water shortage.


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Re: In a world in which hunger is a problem, genetically modified crops  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Sep 2015, 01:08
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Option D is the classic case of GMAT selling the wrong answer

"Substantial" is an opinion word indicating the conclusion of the argument, and pieces of evidence are introduced by "because" and "moreover." Orienting by these words, we can see there are basically two kinds of evidence: a list of virtues of GMOs, and the idea that we would have spotted hazards in GMOs by now, if there were hazards. Both portions are facts, for the purpose of this argument; but the second one is weaker. Maybe we haven't looked in the right places? Or hazards are slow to set in? We'll use those ideas as predictions of the answer and look for something along those lines in the answer choices.

Applying our filter, we find (C) and (D) both roughly fit what we're looking for, and we notice that the other choices, while attacking GMOs, do not attack the argument--the connection of facts to opinion. We compare (C) and (D). One must be objectively better. Choice (D), even if true, is somewhat addressed already by the argument; we've put "lots of attention on them"--i.e., from outside of companies, so the secret would have gotten out. And if it's false, it doesn't help the argument much. (C), on the other hand, does help the argument if it's false, and it's closer to what we were thinking: maybe "all our attention" has been in the wrong place. The correct answer is (C).
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Re: In a world in which hunger is a problem, genetically modified crops  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Sep 2015, 00:53
Good question. Thanks for posting.

I answered "B" incorrrectly. Here's the catch - although the argument mentions the world's hungry population, its main conclusion is that GMCs are an advance BECAUSE they have several properties (mentioned) and don't cause hazards. The hungry population is a passing reference and is more of a "premise" than a conclusion.

In a weaken the argument, we should look for assumptions / conclusion rather than the premises.

Here, C is the option that challenges the conclusion that GMCs are not hazardous. B merely looks at another aspect of the premise, rather than the conclusion about health/other hazards.

Hope this helps.
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Re: In a world in which hunger is a problem, genetically modified crops  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Sep 2015, 00:40
Why is D wrong in this case? The argument is talking about thw world's hungry.. and how GMOs do not pose a risk ... D fits correctly to weaken the argument as the argument states that we would have found the short and long term health risks till now but the reason for not finding them is that companies conceal such information
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Re: In a world in which hunger is a problem, genetically modified crops  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Sep 2015, 01:00
roopika2990 wrote:
Why is D wrong in this case? The argument is talking about thw world's hungry.. and how GMOs do not pose a risk ... D fits correctly to weaken the argument as the argument states that we would have found the short and long term health risks till now but the reason for not finding them is that companies conceal such information


I concur on that
I was tempted to Pick C initially but then D seemed to be better choice.
Experts shed some light on this
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Re: In a world in which hunger is a problem, genetically modified crops  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Sep 2015, 03:05
Prajat wrote:
Option D is the classic case of GMAT selling the wrong answer

"Substantial" is an opinion word indicating the conclusion of the argument, and pieces of evidence are introduced by "because" and "moreover." Orienting by these words, we can see there are basically two kinds of evidence: a list of virtues of GMOs, and the idea that we would have spotted hazards in GMOs by now, if there were hazards. Both portions are facts, for the purpose of this argument; but the second one is weaker. Maybe we haven't looked in the right places? Or hazards are slow to set in? We'll use those ideas as predictions of the answer and look for something along those lines in the answer choices.

Applying our filter, we find (C) and (D) both roughly fit what we're looking for, and we notice that the other choices, while attacking GMOs, do not attack the argument--the connection of facts to opinion. We compare (C) and (D). One must be objectively better. Choice (D), even if true, is somewhat addressed already by the argument; we've put "lots of attention on them"--i.e., from outside of companies, so the secret would have gotten out. And if it's false, it doesn't help the argument much. (C), on the other hand, does help the argument if it's false, and it's closer to what we were thinking: maybe "all our attention" has been in the wrong place. The correct answer is (C).


Nice explanation Prajat!

but still ,this doesn't completely rules out possibility of D
It still presents a hole in the reasoning

Further C is better option as it matches with pre-thinking.

Just hoping not to face such questions on the exam day!
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In a world in which hunger is a problem, genetically modified crops  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Sep 2015, 04:24
kanigmat011 wrote:
Prajat wrote:
Option D is the classic case of GMAT selling the wrong answer

"Substantial" is an opinion word indicating the conclusion of the argument, and pieces of evidence are introduced by "because" and "moreover." Orienting by these words, we can see there are basically two kinds of evidence: a list of virtues of GMOs, and the idea that we would have spotted hazards in GMOs by now, if there were hazards. Both portions are facts, for the purpose of this argument; but the second one is weaker. Maybe we haven't looked in the right places? Or hazards are slow to set in? We'll use those ideas as predictions of the answer and look for something along those lines in the answer choices.

Applying our filter, we find (C) and (D) both roughly fit what we're looking for, and we notice that the other choices, while attacking GMOs, do not attack the argument--the connection of facts to opinion. We compare (C) and (D). One must be objectively better. Choice (D), even if true, is somewhat addressed already by the argument; we've put "lots of attention on them"--i.e., from outside of companies, so the secret would have gotten out. And if it's false, it doesn't help the argument much. (C), on the other hand, does help the argument if it's false, and it's closer to what we were thinking: maybe "all our attention" has been in the wrong place. The correct answer is (C).


Nice explanation Prajat!

but still ,this doesn't completely rules out possibility of D
It still presents a hole in the reasoning

Further C is better option as it matches with pre-thinking.

Just hoping not to face such questions on the exam day!


D instead is completly ruled out mainly because we need to weaken the question looking a possible OGM impact on the environment as whole and this comprhends humen beings, as stimulus says. As such, C is the right answer.

Moreover, D explains what the company would do in a certain scenario. We are not concened about this. So D clearly is out. There is no dounbt between C and D

Hope this helps.

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Re: In a world in which hunger is a problem, genetically modified crops  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Sep 2015, 07:31
C. Although we have studied the potential health impact of eating GMOs on humans, we have not studied potential disruptions to the ecosystem which would threaten human safety indirectly.

This option talks about human safety (which is a much broader term) due to potential disruptions to the ecosystem. But, the argument is very specific and talk only about human health.This makes C out of scope leaving D as better option. C is too broad and GMAT does not allows such answer choices. Human safety is not same as Human health.

Having said that D seems to be a much more plausible answer because it weakens the conclusion of the argument that "we would have known by now of apparent health problems. And since we don't know they don't exist." Option D directly attacks this statement and falsifies it.
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New post 14 Sep 2015, 02:44
princeankitsingh

The only reason you feel D is the correct answer is because you've made a mistake in identifying the main conclusion of the argument.
"we would have known by now of apparent health problems." --->> This is just an intermediate conclusion. It's part of a premise statement which starts with the word "Moreover"
Give it another shot based on this.


If required, refer to the previous posts --->> Everything has been explained by multiple members
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New post 23 Sep 2015, 11:50
My philosophy when working critical reasoning questions is to always remember that the devil is in the details. That said, one can eliminate easily 2 to 3 answer choices at the first sight, but then things become more complicated. Now if we interpret word by word the two problematic answer choices (C) and (D), then we will spot the logic gaps that make answer choice C definitly superior.

Answer choices (D) states that

"If companies that produce genetically modified crops discovered a human health hazard of those crops, the companies would have an incentive to downplay or even conceal their findings".

Well first of all, '' would have an incentive'' expresses the intention rather than the act by itself, the companies are motivated to hide such informations but maybe they have not done so.

Additionally, we most pay attention to '' with lots of attention on them". This expression means that the companies cannot conceal such an information even if they want to, because the GMOs are under the microscope, everything that relates directly or indirectly to them can not be overlooked.

on the other hand, answer (C) is just perfect as it explains that the author's conclusion flows from the lack of a big picture, and that other factors should be taken into account in assessing whether the GMOs are harmful to human health.
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New post 24 Sep 2015, 05:03
Conclusion:

If they created short- or long-term health problems, we would know about it by now.

C says that studies evaluated direct health hazard and they did not cover indirect (ecology based) health hazard. That is why we would not know about true hazard. Weaken

D says that company would have incentive to conceal findings if found negative health effect. Go to scheme:

Health hazard exists ---> no publication of hazard

Health hazard does not exist ---> no publication of hazard

No findings of hazard can be both because hazard exists and because hazard does not exist. We still have chance to know about true hazard. In addition, having incentive to conceal does not mean to conceal findings. Not so weakening as C is

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Re: In a world in which hunger is a problem, genetically modified crops  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Feb 2017, 06:30
I am in trouble in figure out the conclusion of this argument. Is 'genetically modified crops represent a substantial agricultural advance' a conclusion of this argument?
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Re: In a world in which hunger is a problem, genetically modified crops  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jun 2017, 08:36
Imo C
There are no health hazards on human beings of GM crop but what about animals and insecticides and insects that feed on Gm crop .
If they develop some disease it is indirectly going to affect Human beings as well.
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Re: In a world in which hunger is a problem, genetically modified crops  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jul 2018, 23:25
Mahmud6 wrote:
I am in trouble in figure out the conclusion of this argument. Is 'genetically modified crops represent a substantial agricultural advance' a conclusion of this argument?


I think"they pose neither a short-term or long-term threat to humans" is conclusion and Premise is " as observed from past 20 years" is premise supporting it.

1st sentence GMC represent a substantial agricultural advance is a back ground information providing some additional information on The context "Genetical modification of crops.
Please do correct me if i were wrong.

Thank you
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Re: In a world in which hunger is a problem, genetically modified crops  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jul 2018, 05:38
Nightmare007 wrote:
Mahmud6 wrote:
I am in trouble in figure out the conclusion of this argument. Is 'genetically modified crops represent a substantial agricultural advance' a conclusion of this argument?


I think"they pose neither a short-term or long-term threat to humans" is conclusion and Premise is " as observed from past 20 years" is premise supporting it.

1st sentence GMC represent a substantial agricultural advance is a back ground information providing some additional information on The context "Genetical modification of crops.
Please do correct me if i were wrong.

Thank you


You are correct. The beginning sentence can be thought of as background information, and the threat to humans is the conclusion.

Nice job!
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