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# Plant scientists have been able to genetically engineer

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Plant scientists have been able to genetically engineer [#permalink]

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18 May 2005, 10:01
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Plant scientists have been able to genetically engineer vegetable seeds to produce crops that are highly resistant to insect damage. Although these seeds currently cost more than conventional seeds, their cost is likely to decline. Moreover, farmers planting them can use far less pesticide, and most consumers prefer vegetables grown with less pesticide, therefore, for crops for which these seeds can be developed, their use is likely to become the norm.

Which of the following would be most useful to know in evaluating the argument above?
A)Whether plant scientists have developed insect-resistant seeds for every crop that is currently grown commercially?
B)Whether farmers typically use agricultural pesticides in large amounts than is necessary to prevent crop damage?
C)Whether plants grown from the new genetically engineered seeds can be kept completely free of insect damage?
D)Whether seeds genetically engineered to produce insect-resistant crops generate significantly lower per acre crop yields than do currently used seeds?
E)Whether most varieties of crops currently grown commercially have greater natural resistance to insect damage than did similar varieties in the past.

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18 May 2005, 10:14
I take B

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18 May 2005, 10:27
B - OA?

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18 May 2005, 10:28
B - OA?

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18 May 2005, 10:36
What are the reasons to refute other choices?

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Manager
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18 May 2005, 10:56
I pick b as well.
The argument clearly says "Moreover, farmers planting them can use far less pesticide...".Thus to go ahead with the plan it is necessary to evaluate just how much pesticides are being used by farmers. a, d and e are out of scope.

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18 May 2005, 12:03
Why is D out of scope. I think its well within the scope and contends with B closely.

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18 May 2005, 16:50
Tough for me..

I prefer (D).

Passage:
1. introduce new vegetable seeds which are high resistant to insects.
2. Their cost will decline.
3. farmers can use far less pesticide with new seeds and customers prefer low pesticide vegetables.

Conclusion: Their (new seeds) use will become norm.

(A) Developing new seeds for every crop:
Out of Scope.
(B) Whether farmers typically use agricultural pesticides in large amounts than is necessary to prevent crop damage?
Answering this will help you find the necessary amount for the currect seeds. It can happen that the current level itself is very high compared with that of Genetically Modified seeds.
(C) Whether plants grown from the new genetically engineered seeds can be kept completely free of insect damage?
Extreme Case.
(D) Whether seeds genetically engineered to produce insect-resistant crops generate significantly lower per acre crop yields than do currently used seeds?
Answer to this question will also help in justifying the conclusion but crop per acre was never mentioned in the passage .
(E): Whether most varieties of crops currently grown commercially have greater natural resistance to insect damage than did similar varieties in the past.
Not a Proper comaprison. Safely Neglect It.

What is OA?

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18 May 2005, 20:18
B is wrong because even if farmers don't use "large" amounts, they can still use some amount of pesticide and we can still consider genetically engineered seeds as they may use much lesser amount.

D is correct, since significantly less yield per acre may make using normal seeds more beneficial. Conversly, if it is not significantly less, using the genetically seeds may not be a bad solution after all.
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krish

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19 May 2005, 00:42
The argument is structed in the following manner ;

Conclusion : new genetically engineered seeds will become norm.

Evidence 1 :GES ( genetically...) are more insect resistent .Conclusion from this , farmers using this will use less pesticide.
Evidence 2 : Consumers prefer veg with less pesticide.

The argument states that norm is linked to consumer prefernce which in turn is linked to lesser pesticide.. linked to GES.

D would have been the answer if the norm was linked to profitability ( cost benifit analysis)..this is outside the scope

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19 May 2005, 01:49
But cracker, even if the yeild per acre is less ,the cost of these GES is going to come down.Perhaps lesser need of pesticides may compensate for lower yeild .Maybe the cost of pesticides is too much compared to loss in yeild per acre.

Pb whats the OA?

Best.

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19 May 2005, 04:50
It has to be (B) ... if the farmers still use the same amount of pesticide on hybrid seeds like they used to do on conventional seeds .. then, the benefits derived out of them bleak out. So, the answer to this question is very crucial before proceding.

(D) is out-of-scope. The argument is all about seeds which are resistant to damage .. so increased productivity or other issues fall out of scope.
HTH.

Since the argument is all about highly resistant crops from hybrid(genetically modified) seeds ... therefore, the pertinent questions shud also be in the same direction.

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19 May 2005, 05:12
D...

D)Whether seeds genetically engineered to produce insect-resistant crops generate significantly lower per acre crop yields than do currently used seeds?

so even if the cost of the seeds decline, and less pesticide may need to be used, the lower yield may lead to a reduced return...and hence may affect their usage.

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19 May 2005, 08:47
jpv wrote:
Tough for me..

I prefer (D).

Passage:
1. introduce new vegetable seeds which are high resistant to insects.
2. Their cost will decline.
3. farmers can use far less pesticide with new seeds and customers prefer low pesticide vegetables.

Conclusion: Their (new seeds) use will become norm.

(A) Developing new seeds for every crop:
Out of Scope.
(B) Whether farmers typically use agricultural pesticides in large amounts than is necessary to prevent crop damage?
Answering this will help you find the necessary amount for the currect seeds. It can happen that the current level itself is very high compared with that of Genetically Modified seeds.
(C) Whether plants grown from the new genetically engineered seeds can be kept completely free of insect damage?
Extreme Case.
(D) Whether seeds genetically engineered to produce insect-resistant crops generate significantly lower per acre crop yields than do currently used seeds?
Answer to this question will also help in justifying the conclusion but crop per acre was never mentioned in the passage .
(E): Whether most varieties of crops currently grown commercially have greater natural resistance to insect damage than did similar varieties in the past.
Not a Proper comaprison. Safely Neglect It.

What is OA?

Why not E. IF is true, then it means the natural resistance is evolving and their is less need to introduce the GE seeds?
S
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19 May 2005, 08:55
D)...because the author says in his conlcusion that the genetically engineered seed will likely to become the norm. our mission is to evaluate this statement. if D) is true and the new seeds will generate lower yield, it is unlikely that it will become the norm, because it is uneconomical.
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If your mind can conceive it and your heart can believe it, have faith that you can achieve it.

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19 May 2005, 08:58

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19 May 2005, 09:34
Goodness me!

This was a straightforward question and my ans. is (E). I'll explain if i am right b/c from the choices i see here, it dosen't seem like i have thought well.
But i still stick to (E). OA ps?

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19 May 2005, 09:51
Please explain the resoning and why you think its straight E

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19 May 2005, 11:00
I would believe B, doloris explained it well.

We need to know what the extent of pesticide use is to evaluate the effectiveness of the new seed. The argument says "that farmers planting them can use far less pesticide..." but will they? B directly raises that issue by pointing out to the typical use of pesticide by farmers.
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19 May 2005, 17:51
I can see the argument for (B), but I think it's second best to (D).

The rest are flatly irrelevent.

I prefer (D) because that's simply the most important question anytime you'd introduce a new seed/technology/method to farming -- how does that affect ultimate yield? If the new thing causes yields to be significantly lower per acre, then a farmer can't afford to plant it: that would make for an extremely unproductive acre of framland. And even if he did, supply would then be so low that the produce would be too expensive to catch on with consumers.

Although these seeds currently cost more than conventional seeds, their cost is likely to decline

-- this refers to cost of seeds, an input cost to the farmer, and has no affect on my argument above. Even if seeds become cheap, that does not mitigate unacceptably low crop yields: the cheapness of seeds would not affect supply & demand, hence price, of produce in the marketplace, if the bottleneck is in low crop yields.

farmers planting them can use far less pesticide, and most consumers prefer vegetables grown with less pesticide

-- The reason I don't think (B) is best, is that while a farmer might still use unnecessary amounts of pesticide on the genetically modified seeds, common sense suggests that a farmer would not spend extra money on new costly seeds -- whose only advantage is that they need less pesticide -- and then douse them in pesticides anyway, ruining their whole advantage. In other words, this situation would not be typical for the farmer, keenly aware that he has bought a very expensive bag of newfangled Frankenstein seeds, and you'd not expect the farmer to behave in a typical manner with respect to pesticide use.

Hence (D)

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19 May 2005, 17:51

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