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Irradiation of food by gamma rays would keep it from spoiling

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Irradiation of food by gamma rays would keep it from spoiling  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Oct 2017, 22:31
5
8
00:00
A
B
C
D
E

Difficulty:

  95% (hard)

Question Stats:

17% (01:47) correct 83% (01:53) wrong based on 315 sessions

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Proponent: Irradiation of food by gamma rays would keep it from spoiling before it reaches the consumer in food stores. The process leaves no radiation behind, and vitamin losses are comparable to those that occur in cooking, so there is no reason to reject irradiation on the grounds of nutrition or safety. Indeed, it kills harmful Salmonella bacteria, which in contaminated poultry have caused serious illness to consumers.

Opponent: The irradiation process has no effect on the bacteria that cause botulism, a very serious form of food poisoning, while those that cause bad odors that would warn consumers of botulism are killed. Moreover, Salmonella and the bacteria that cause botulism can easily be killed in poultry by using a safe chemical dip.

The opponent’s argument proceeds by
(A) isolating an ambiguity in a crucial term in the proponent’s argument
(B) showing that claims made in the proponent’s argument result in a self-contradiction
(C) establishing that undesirable consequences result from the adoption of either one of two proposed remedies
(D) shifting perspective from safety with respect to consumers to safety with respect to producers
(E) pointing out an alternative way of obtaining an advantage claimed by the proponent without risking a particular disadvantage

Source: LSAT Critical Reasoning

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Irradiation of food by gamma rays would keep it from spoiling  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Oct 2017, 18:30
Quote:
Proponent: Irradiation of food by gamma rays would keep it from spoiling before it reaches the consumer in food stores. The process leaves no radiation behind, and vitamin losses are comparable to those that occur in cooking, so there is no reason to reject irradiation on the grounds of nutrition or safety. Indeed, it kills harmful Salmonella bacteria, which in contaminated poultry have caused serious illness to consumers.

Opponent: The irradiation process has no effect on the bacteria that cause botulism, a very serious form of food poisoning, while those that cause bad odors that would warn consumers of botulism are killed. Moreover, Salmonella and the bacteria that cause botulism can easily be killed in poultry by using a safe chemical dip.


Proponent states irradiation of food by gamma rays would keep it from spoiling (prevents from bad odor). The added advantage, gamma rays kill Salmonella bacteria. Opponent states, gamma rays does not effect botulism, a very serious form of food poisoning. In fact, gamma rays kills bad odor which is a way of identifying botulism.

Therefore, the opponent’s argument proceeds by showing that claims made in the proponent’s argument result in a self-contradiction
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Re: Irradiation of food by gamma rays would keep it from spoiling  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Oct 2017, 15:32
explanations please

I am stuck on E and just cannot understand why is B a better option than E
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Re: Irradiation of food by gamma rays would keep it from spoiling  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Oct 2017, 19:32
(A) is irrelevant. We're not talking about what might happen if you store poorly.
(C) doesn't matter--the argument already considers them separate issues ("nutrition or safety")
(D) So?
(E) Again... so? We're just worried about whether there's a safety or nutrition issue, here.

Here was my line of thinking when I came to (B). I too was turned off by the "raw food" bit.
We know vitamin losses occur in cooking - shown when the author says "vitamin losses [that occur in irradiation] are comparable to those that occur in cooking").
We also know that irradiation causes some vitamin losses too as the statement shows above.
So if irradiation causes vitamin losses and cooking causes vitamin losses, then cooking irradiated food would be less nutritionally beneficial than cooking non-irradiated food. Therefore, the part about having "no reason to reject irradiation on the grounds of nutrition" is bogus!
Now we get to the part about "if eaten raw, it would not have the vitamin advantage of raw food."
Now we have the same thing: we are comparing irradiated food and non-irradiated food. From this statement, we see clearly that irradiated food "would not have the vitamin advantage" of regular raw food. In other words raw, non-irradiated, food has more vitamins.
So irradiated food that is COOKED has less vitamins and irradiated food that is RAW has less vitamins. Ultimately, irradiated food has less vitamins than raw food. If the opponent states, "well, irradiated food still needs cooking," he would DESTROY the proponent's argument that "there is no reason to reject irradiation on the grounds of nutrition."
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Re: Irradiation of food by gamma rays would keep it from spoiling  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Oct 2017, 08:26
puneetj88 wrote:
explanations please

I am stuck on E and just cannot understand why is B a better option than E


(E) pointing out an alternative way of obtaining an advantage claimed by the proponent without risking a particular disadvantage

Here the opponent's argument is not proceeded by pointing out an alternate way. It is proceeded by pointing out the problem with irradiation "The irradiation process has no effect on the bacteria that cause botulism" that the proponent misses which results in self contradiction.
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Re: Irradiation of food by gamma rays would keep it from spoiling  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Oct 2017, 08:27
puneetj88 wrote:
explanations please

I am stuck on E and just cannot understand why is B a better option than E


(E) pointing out an alternative way of obtaining an advantage claimed by the proponent without risking a particular disadvantage

Here the opponent's argument is not proceeded by pointing out an alternate way. It is proceeded by pointing out the problem with irradiation "The irradiation process has no effect on the bacteria that cause botulism" that the proponent misses which results in self contradiction.
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Irradiation of food by gamma rays would keep it from spoiling  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jun 2018, 20:20
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I approached it from a slightly different perspective - I really tried to outline and think through why B is the correct answer, so apologies if this is long:

It was easy to eliminate E) because the question stem explicitly states "The opponent’s argument proceeds by:", meaning we should be concerned with the argument that comes immediately after the question. If you read the opponent's argument, it looks as if it's made from two statements put together. "Moreover" signals this.

I didn't' get B) at first (I answered C), but thinking it through made more sense. Let's think about the proponent's conclusion if you will:
Quote:
...so there is no reason to reject irradiation on the grounds of nutrition or safety.

The first clue is the language being used ("no reason to reject") - this is strong language. If we can supply any reason that will let us cast doubt on the proponent's argument, we'll be all set*. We would need something in the opponent's argument that refutes the proponent's line of thinking, as if to say, irradiation CAN be rejected on grounds of health or safety. And we can find that in the opponent's argument:
Quote:
The irradiation process has no effect on the bacteria that cause botulism, a very serious form of food poisoning, while those that cause bad odors that would warn consumers of botulism are killed.

In some ways, this doesn't refute the argument directly or forcefully, which may be why people don't initially consider B). You may think "well this doesn't directly cause the proponent to contradict himself".

But by brining up botulism, the opponent gives a reason why irradiation can be refuted, therefore giving us a reason to reject irradiation on safety grounds. If irradiation still allows the bacteria causing botulism to live (in fact it kills the bacteria that could've helped you detect it!), that means irradiation doesn't make the food completely safe. If something doesn't completely address the problem, then there is still grounds to reject that course of action.

In addition, the proponent mentions "Irradiation of food by gamma rays would keep it from spoiling" - but the opponent demonstrates that gamma rays don't fully keep food from spoiling.

This is how the proponent contradicts himself: by stating his conclusion in absolutes ("no reason to reject"), but relying on an argument (irradiation can prevent against food spoilage) that isn't air-tight and can be rejected by the opponent.
---
*I know this technically isn't a "weakening"-type question, but I think it helps to frame the question differently if it doesn't make sense at first.
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Re: Irradiation of food by gamma rays would keep it from spoiling  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jun 2018, 12:35
puneetj88 wrote:
explanations please

I am stuck on E and just cannot understand why is B a better option than E



(E) pointing out an alternative way of obtaining an advantage claimed by the proponent without risking a particular disadvantage
(B) showing that claims made in the proponent’s argument result in a self-contradiction

The opponent does not proceed with helping obtain an advantage in (E), it just negates the idea (advantage) proposed by the proponent by proposing that The irradiation process has no effect on the bacteria.. , the second part of statement E is true. In statement (B), it proceeds with showing that the claims made by the proponent are false "The irradiation process has no effect on the bacteria that cause botulism" which result in a self contradiction.
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Re: Irradiation of food by gamma rays would keep it from spoiling  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Sep 2018, 08:59
What is "self-contradiction"? Doesn't it mean that the argument has logically problems?
The opponent is contradicting the proponent, rather than making the proponent's argument self-contradiction.
Re: Irradiation of food by gamma rays would keep it from spoiling &nbs [#permalink] 07 Sep 2018, 08:59
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