Plant scientists have been able to genetically engineer : GMAT Critical Reasoning (CR)
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# Plant scientists have been able to genetically engineer

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

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19 May 2009, 07:46
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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 to 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 larger 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.

I chose B. But OA is different. Could you please explain it?
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19 May 2009, 08:36
I went by elimination and my answer is D.

A: 'for every crop' is a bit extreme and the passage doesnt state this information;
B: assumed eliminated;
C: completely free of damage is not the same as highly resistant;
E: Seems not quite relevant to the passage;

the passage talk of cost and so the question D can answer a few questions concerning cost and yield.

However, what is the OA? Alternate explanations are appreciated.

thanks
Director
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19 May 2009, 09:12
the stimulus argues that genetically engineered crops will become the norm. D asks whether the acreage of crop yeild will be lower. If it is lower, then maybe these genetically altered seeds wont become the norm because the profit will be lower.
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19 May 2009, 19:03
Yes, D. If far lower per acre crop yields, it maybe not preferable to currently seeds

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 to 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 -->out of scope. only crops which this seeds can be developed are mentioned
B. Whether farmers typically use agricultural pesticides in larger amounts than is necessary to prevent crop damage -->counter fact
C. whether plants grown from the new genetically engineered seeds can be kept completely free of insect damage. -->completely free of insects or not, it does not affect much on such useful seed. It's still norm
D. Whether seeds genetically engineered to produce insect-resistant crops generate significantly lower per acre crop yields than do currently used seeds -->the best
E. Whether most varieties of crops currently grown commercially have greater natural resistance to insect damage than did similar varieties in the past -->once again, too broad
Director
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19 May 2009, 20:57
Yes, OA is D.

Did not find strong reason to defend B. If farmars were using pesticides more than that required, they would easily reduce the amount of normal pesticides and avoid new genetically improved pesticide. Otherwise, they should opt for the new pesticide.
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Re: CR: Pesticides   [#permalink] 19 May 2009, 20:57
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