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# No one is eager to touch off the kind of hysteria that

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Joined: 29 Jul 2012
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GMAT Date: 11-18-2012
No one is eager to touch off the kind of hysteria that  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 22 Sep 2012, 04:08
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No one is eager to touch off the kind of hysteria that preceded the government‘s decision to move against Alar, the growth regulator once used by apple growers. When celebrities like Meryl Streep spoke out against Alar and the press fanned public fears, some schools and parents rushed to pluck apples out of the mouths of children. Yet all this happened before scientists had reached any consensus about Alar‘s dangers.

Rhetoric about dioxin may push the same kind of emotional buttons. The chemical becomes relatively concentrated in fat-rich foods—including human breast milk. Scientists estimate that a substantial fraction of an individual‘s lifetime burden of dioxin—as much as 12%— is accumulated during the first year of life. Nonetheless, the benefits of breast-feeding infants, the EPA and most everyone else would agree, far outweigh the hazards. Now environmentalists say dioxin and scores of other chemicals pose a threat to human fertility—as scary an issue as any policymakers have faced.

But in the absence of conclusive evidence, what are policymakers to do? What measure can they take to handle a problem whose magnitude is unknown? Predictably, attempts to whipsaw public opinion have already begun. Corporate lobbyists urge that action be put on hold until science resolves the unanswered questions. Environmentalists argue that evidence for harm is too strong to permit delay. This issue is especially tough because the chemicals under scrutiny are found almost everywhere.

Since many of them contain chlorine or are by-products of processes involving chlorine compounds, the environmental group Greenpeace has demanded a ban on all industrial uses of chlorine. The proposal seems appealingly simple, but it would be economically wrenching for companies and consumers alike. With the escalating rhetoric, many professionals in the risk-assessment business are worried that once again emotion rather than common sense will drive the political process. ―There is no free lunch,‖ observes Tammy Tengs, a public-health specialist at Duke University. ―When someone spends money in one place, that money is not available to spend on other things.‖ She and her colleagues have calculated that tuberculosis treatment can extend a person‘s life by a year for less than \$10,000—surely a reasonable price tag. By contrast, extending a life by a year through asbestos removal costs nearly \$2 million, since relatively few people would die if the asbestos were left in place. That kind of benefit-risk analysis all too rarely informs the decisions made by government regulators.

As the EPA raises anew the dangers of dioxin, the agency needs to communicate its findings to the public in a calm and clear fashion. John Graham, director of the Harvard Centre for Risk Analysis, suggests that people should strive to keep the perils posed by dioxin in perspective and remember other threats that are more easily averted. ―Phantom risks and real risks compete not only for our resources but also for our attention,‖ Graham observes. ―It‘s a shame when a mother worries
about toxic chemicals, and yet her kids are running around unvaccinated and without bicycle helmets.‖
1. If it appeared in an article that the author read, he would most strongly agree with which of the following statements?
A. Asbestos and radon have caused serious health problems in the past that many government officials chose to ignore.
B. Dioxin is the foremost threat to human fertility and needs to be addressed in order to prevent serious health problems in the future.
C. Environmental groups and corporate lobbyists often take polarized stances which eventually are modified by governmental agencies.
D. Thorough research and investigation of environmental problems should be performed by the government before any unnecessary hysteria spreads throughout the public.
E. The mayor of a city has decided to ban the use of dioxins by industries in that city

2. According to the passage, it is dangerous to react drastically to recently posed health hazards for all of the following reasons EXCEPT:
A. proven precautions are overlooked.
B. public fear leads to irrational action.
D. economic burdens can occur.
E. emotion should not be allowed to overtake common sense

3. In the context of the passage, the author uses the term ―whipsaw public opinion‖ (line 23) to refer to:
A. changing the needs of the community.
B. convincing citizens to accept a polarized viewpoint on health hazards.
C. offering a variety of alternatives for health hazards.
D. acting irrationally in response to government policy.
E. convincing citizens to take decisions lacking in common sense

4. The primary aim of the passage is
A. to strongly discourage the use of dioxins by industries
B. to carry out a cost-benefit analysis of the continued use of dioxins
C. to argue that the problems associated with dioxins may have been overestimated
D. to assert that the opponents of the use of dioxins are exaggerating the problem for their own benefit
E. to call for a ban on the use of all dioxins

I am stuck with main idea help needed. OA later on

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Originally posted by Aristocrat on 22 Sep 2012, 03:39.
Last edited by Aristocrat on 22 Sep 2012, 04:08, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: No one is eager to touch off the kind of hysteria  [#permalink]

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22 Sep 2012, 03:57
Aristocrat wrote:
No one is eager to touch off the kind of hysteria that preceded the government‘s decision to move against Alar, the growth regulator once used by apple growers. When celebrities like Meryl Streep spoke out against Alar and the press fanned public fears, some schools and parents rushed to pluck apples out of the mouths of children. Yet all this happened before scientists had reached any consensus about Alar‘s dangers.
Rhetoric about dioxin may push the same kind of emotional buttons. The chemical becomes relatively concentrated in fat-rich foods—including human breast milk. Scientists estimate that a substantial fraction of an individual‘s lifetime burden of dioxin—as much as 12%— is accumulated during the first year of life. Nonetheless, the benefits of breast-feeding infants, the EPA and most everyone else would agree, far outweigh the hazards. Now environmentalists say dioxin and scores of other chemicals pose a threat to human fertility—as scary an issue as any policymakers have faced.
But in the absence of conclusive evidence, what are policymakers to do? What measure can they take to handle a problem whose magnitude is unknown? Predictably, attempts to whipsaw public opinion have already begun. Corporate lobbyists urge that action be put on hold until science resolves the unanswered questions. Environmentalists argue that evidence for harm is too strong to permit delay. This issue is especially tough because the chemicals under scrutiny are found almost everywhere.
Since many of them contain chlorine or are by-products of processes involving chlorine compounds, the environmental group Greenpeace has demanded a ban on all industrial uses of chlorine. The proposal seems appealingly simple, but it would be economically wrenching for companies and consumers alike. With the escalating rhetoric, many professionals in the risk-assessment business are worried that once again emotion rather than common sense will drive the political process. ―There is no free lunch,‖ observes Tammy Tengs, a public-health specialist at Duke University. ―When someone spends money in one place, that money is not available to spend on other things.‖ She and her colleagues have calculated that tuberculosis treatment can extend a person‘s life by a year for less than \$10,000—surely a reasonable price tag. By contrast, extending a life by a year through asbestos removal costs nearly \$2 million, since relatively few people would die if the asbestos were left in place. That kind of benefit-risk analysis all too rarely informs the decisions made by government regulators.
As the EPA raises anew the dangers of dioxin, the agency needs to communicate its findings to the public in a calm and clear fashion. John Graham, director of the Harvard Centre for Risk Analysis, suggests that people should strive to keep the perils posed by dioxin in perspective and remember other threats that are more easily averted. ―Phantom risks and real risks compete not only for our resources but also for our attention,‖ Graham observes. ―It‘s a shame when a mother worries
about toxic chemicals, and yet her kids are running around unvaccinated and without bicycle helmets.‖

4. The primary aim of the passage is
A. to strongly discourage the use of dioxins by industries
B. to carry out a cost-benefit analysis of the continued use of dioxins
C. to argue that the problems associated with dioxins may have been overestimated
D. to assert that the opponents of the use of dioxins are exaggerating the problem for their own benefit
E. to call for a ban on the use of all dioxins

I am stuck with main idea help needed
OA later on

but for me is not a good passage at all. the sourse '?'
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Re: No one is eager to touch off the kind of hysteria  [#permalink]

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22 Sep 2012, 08:11
C for the first question .
D for the second question .
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+1 if you like my explanation .Thanks
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GMAT Date: 11-18-2012
Re: No one is eager to touch off the kind of hysteria  [#permalink]

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28 Sep 2012, 00:14
saikarthikreddy wrote:
C for the first question .
D for the second question .

ya OA for 1st is 'C'
and 2nd is 'D'
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Re: No one is eager to touch off the kind of hysteria  [#permalink]

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28 Sep 2012, 00:15
carcass wrote:
Aristocrat wrote:
No one is eager to touch off the kind of hysteria that preceded the government‘s decision to move against Alar, the growth regulator once used by apple growers. When celebrities like Meryl Streep spoke out against Alar and the press fanned public fears, some schools and parents rushed to pluck apples out of the mouths of children. Yet all this happened before scientists had reached any consensus about Alar‘s dangers.
Rhetoric about dioxin may push the same kind of emotional buttons. The chemical becomes relatively concentrated in fat-rich foods—including human breast milk. Scientists estimate that a substantial fraction of an individual‘s lifetime burden of dioxin—as much as 12%— is accumulated during the first year of life. Nonetheless, the benefits of breast-feeding infants, the EPA and most everyone else would agree, far outweigh the hazards. Now environmentalists say dioxin and scores of other chemicals pose a threat to human fertility—as scary an issue as any policymakers have faced.
But in the absence of conclusive evidence, what are policymakers to do? What measure can they take to handle a problem whose magnitude is unknown? Predictably, attempts to whipsaw public opinion have already begun. Corporate lobbyists urge that action be put on hold until science resolves the unanswered questions. Environmentalists argue that evidence for harm is too strong to permit delay. This issue is especially tough because the chemicals under scrutiny are found almost everywhere.
Since many of them contain chlorine or are by-products of processes involving chlorine compounds, the environmental group Greenpeace has demanded a ban on all industrial uses of chlorine. The proposal seems appealingly simple, but it would be economically wrenching for companies and consumers alike. With the escalating rhetoric, many professionals in the risk-assessment business are worried that once again emotion rather than common sense will drive the political process. ―There is no free lunch,‖ observes Tammy Tengs, a public-health specialist at Duke University. ―When someone spends money in one place, that money is not available to spend on other things.‖ She and her colleagues have calculated that tuberculosis treatment can extend a person‘s life by a year for less than \$10,000—surely a reasonable price tag. By contrast, extending a life by a year through asbestos removal costs nearly \$2 million, since relatively few people would die if the asbestos were left in place. That kind of benefit-risk analysis all too rarely informs the decisions made by government regulators.
As the EPA raises anew the dangers of dioxin, the agency needs to communicate its findings to the public in a calm and clear fashion. John Graham, director of the Harvard Centre for Risk Analysis, suggests that people should strive to keep the perils posed by dioxin in perspective and remember other threats that are more easily averted. ―Phantom risks and real risks compete not only for our resources but also for our attention,‖ Graham observes. ―It‘s a shame when a mother worries
about toxic chemicals, and yet her kids are running around unvaccinated and without bicycle helmets.‖

4. The primary aim of the passage is
A. to strongly discourage the use of dioxins by industries
B. to carry out a cost-benefit analysis of the continued use of dioxins
C. to argue that the problems associated with dioxins may have been overestimated
D. to assert that the opponents of the use of dioxins are exaggerating the problem for their own benefit
E. to call for a ban on the use of all dioxins

I am stuck with main idea help needed
OA later on

but for me is not a good passage at all. the sourse '?'

the passage is from Aristotle RC99
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Re: No one is eager to touch off the kind of hysteria that  [#permalink]

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29 Jan 2018, 12:53
carcass wrote:
Aristocrat wrote:
No one is eager to touch off the kind of hysteria that preceded the government‘s decision to move against Alar, the growth regulator once used by apple growers. When celebrities like Meryl Streep spoke out against Alar and the press fanned public fears, some schools and parents rushed to pluck apples out of the mouths of children. Yet all this happened before scientists had reached any consensus about Alar‘s dangers.
Rhetoric about dioxin may push the same kind of emotional buttons. The chemical becomes relatively concentrated in fat-rich foods—including human breast milk. Scientists estimate that a substantial fraction of an individual‘s lifetime burden of dioxin—as much as 12%— is accumulated during the first year of life. Nonetheless, the benefits of breast-feeding infants, the EPA and most everyone else would agree, far outweigh the hazards. Now environmentalists say dioxin and scores of other chemicals pose a threat to human fertility—as scary an issue as any policymakers have faced.
But in the absence of conclusive evidence, what are policymakers to do? What measure can they take to handle a problem whose magnitude is unknown? Predictably, attempts to whipsaw public opinion have already begun. Corporate lobbyists urge that action be put on hold until science resolves the unanswered questions. Environmentalists argue that evidence for harm is too strong to permit delay. This issue is especially tough because the chemicals under scrutiny are found almost everywhere.
Since many of them contain chlorine or are by-products of processes involving chlorine compounds, the environmental group Greenpeace has demanded a ban on all industrial uses of chlorine. The proposal seems appealingly simple, but it would be economically wrenching for companies and consumers alike. With the escalating rhetoric, many professionals in the risk-assessment business are worried that once again emotion rather than common sense will drive the political process. ―There is no free lunch,‖ observes Tammy Tengs, a public-health specialist at Duke University. ―When someone spends money in one place, that money is not available to spend on other things.‖ She and her colleagues have calculated that tuberculosis treatment can extend a person‘s life by a year for less than \$10,000—surely a reasonable price tag. By contrast, extending a life by a year through asbestos removal costs nearly \$2 million, since relatively few people would die if the asbestos were left in place. That kind of benefit-risk analysis all too rarely informs the decisions made by government regulators.
As the EPA raises anew the dangers of dioxin, the agency needs to communicate its findings to the public in a calm and clear fashion. John Graham, director of the Harvard Centre for Risk Analysis, suggests that people should strive to keep the perils posed by dioxin in perspective and remember other threats that are more easily averted. ―Phantom risks and real risks compete not only for our resources but also for our attention,‖ Graham observes. ―It‘s a shame when a mother worries
about toxic chemicals, and yet her kids are running around unvaccinated and without bicycle helmets.‖

4. The primary aim of the passage is
A. to strongly discourage the use of dioxins by industries
B. to carry out a cost-benefit analysis of the continued use of dioxins
C. to argue that the problems associated with dioxins may have been overestimated
D. to assert that the opponents of the use of dioxins are exaggerating the problem for their own benefit
E. to call for a ban on the use of all dioxins

I am stuck with main idea help needed
OA later on

but for me is not a good passage at all. the sourse '?'

Hi carcass. Can you please enlighten us more on why do you think the passage is not good enough?

The reason I ask is I am practicing from the same source and would need a suggestion whether continue practicing or quit the source.

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Re: No one is eager to touch off the kind of hysteria that  [#permalink]

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04 Sep 2018, 23:41
Can somebody help with Q2 and Q4?
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Re: No one is eager to touch off the kind of hysteria that  [#permalink]

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05 Sep 2018, 03:11
Can someone help with Q3 please?
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Re: No one is eager to touch off the kind of hysteria that  [#permalink]

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26 Oct 2018, 05:12

Topic and Scope

- The author discusses the threat posed by dioxin and suggests that fears about the toxin may be overblown.

Mapping the Passage

¶1 provides an example of another case of hysteria over a toxin that outran scientific knowledge.
¶2 states that some claim that dioxin is a threat and that the reaction to dioxin may also be overly emotional.
¶3 rhetorically asks if there can be any meaningful response.
¶4 describes responses to the dioxin threat, expresses skepticism at some environmentalists‘ proposals, and suggests that common sense and risk analysis should guide decisions about threats.
¶5 quotes an authority to argue that levels of risk should be kept in perspective.
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Re: No one is eager to touch off the kind of hysteria that  [#permalink]

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26 Oct 2018, 05:13

1)

Predict by recalling the author‘s main points: fears about certain toxins are often overblown and should be tempered by common sense and science. (D) simply repeats this.
(A): Out of Scope. There‘s no evidence from the passage that the government has ignored these problems. The author might also dispute the seriousness of these health problems, as it‘s argued in ¶4 that asbestos fears are exaggerated.
(B): Opposite. The author argues roughly the opposite: dioxin isn‘t the threat many make it out to be.
(C): Out of Scope. While this might be true, there‘s no evidence from the passage that the government modifies extreme environmental stances.
(E): Opposite: The author will probably consider this a very extreme step

2)

Look for an answer choice that either contradicts something that the author says about reactions or simply isn‘t included in the passage. (C) fits the latter: the author never mentions the effect of drastic reactions on insurance premiums.
(A): Opposite. This is the point made in the last paragraph: it‘s more effective to worry about safety methods that have been proven to improve safety.
(B): Opposite. This can be inferred from various statements in the passage: the author believes that drastic reactions generally represent irrational thought that can itself be dangerous if it leads to the neglect of proven safety measures.
(D): Opposite. The author makes this point in ¶4.
(E): ‗Emotions‘ are not within the scope of the passage

3)

Refer back to the passage. Who wants to ―whipsaw public opinion?‖ Both corporate lobbyists and environmental groups, each of represent extreme viewpoints. Each of these groups want to convince the public of their own view. (B) matches this.
(A): Out of Scope. There‘s no discussion about changing the needs of the public, only the opinion.
(C):Opposite. Groups with an extreme viewpoint won‘t present a range of alternatives, as evidenced by the examples in ¶s1 and 4.
(D):Distortion. Though the author might believe that extreme groups are acting irrationally, this isn‘t related to the attempt to change public opinion.
(E): ‗Common sense‘ is not within the purview of the passage.

4)

The author is clearly trying to say that the threat posed by toxins has probably been exaggerated. The correct option (B) matches this.
(A): Extreme Option. The author never states this.
(B): Cost-benefit analysis not mentioned by the author
(D): Distortion. The author never asserts that the opponents are doing so for their own benefit.
(E): Extreme Option. The author never states this.
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Re: No one is eager to touch off the kind of hysteria that   [#permalink] 26 Oct 2018, 05:13
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