Scientists have made genetic modifications to cotton to : GMAT Critical Reasoning (CR)
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# Scientists have made genetic modifications to cotton to

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VP
Joined: 26 Apr 2004
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28 Dec 2004, 17:49
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Scientists have made genetic modifications to cotton to increase its resistance to insect pests. According to farmersâ€™ reports, the amount of insecticide needed per acre to control insect pests was only slightly lower for those who tried the modified seed than for those who did not.

Therefore, since the modified seed costs more than ordinary seed without producing yields of higher market value, switching to the modified seed would be unlikely to benefit most cotton farmers economically.
Which of the following would it be most useful to know in order to evaluate the argument?

A) Whether farmers who tried the modified cotton seed had ever tried growing other crops from genetically modified seed

B) Whether the insecticides typically used on ordinary cotton tend to be more expensive than insecticides typically used on other crops

C) Whether for most farmers who grow cotton it is their primary crop

D) Whether the farmers who have tried the modified seed planted as many acres of cotton, on average, as farmers using the ordinary seed did

E) Whether most of the farmers who tried the modified seed did so because they had previously had to use exceptionally large quantities of insecticide
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28 Dec 2004, 18:01
A) Whether farmers who tried the modified cotton seed had ever tried growing other crops from genetically modified seed
Irrelevant to the argument about whether or not the modified cotton seed is economically beneficial to farmers.

B) Whether the insecticides typically used on ordinary cotton tend to be more expensive than insecticides typically used on other crops
Again, irrelevant. We are looking for an answer that speaks to the efficacy of this particular modified seed. Other crops are out of scope.

C) Whether for most farmers who grow cotton it is their primary crop
Again, irrelevant.

D) Whether the farmers who have tried the modified seed planted as many acres of cotton, on average, as farmers using the ordinary seed did
It doesn't particularly matter if the farmers who planted the modified seed planted as many acres on average as farmers who planted the unmodified seed, since their results are reported on a per acre basis. If there was reason to believe that the results the farmers who planted the modified seeds were a statistical outlyer, this answer choice would be more compelling.

E) Whether most of the farmers who tried the modified seed did so because they had previously had to use exceptionally large quantities of insecticide
This is the correct answer. If the farmers who tried the modified seed had exceptionally high pest problems, their results might not be typical for other farmers who have average or below average pest quantities, and thus the modified seed still might provide economic benefit to some.
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28 Dec 2004, 19:09
I chose 'D' but going thru' hilairity's posts, 'E' makes sense - good explanations hilairity.
VP
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18 Jan 2005, 05:23
sorry, The OA is B.

I thinks it's two kinds of cost questions.

First, the amount of insecticide needed for modified seed was slightly lower than that of ordinary seed. That's means the insecticide cost of modified seed was slightly lower than that of ordinary seed.

Second, the cost of modified seed was more than that of ordinary seed.

Therefore, in order to evaluate we need to compoare the two kinds of cost.
Whether A > B or B > A?

The choice B gives us an evaluation.
It evaluates whther the ordinary cotton's insecticides cost is more expensive than other corps' cost. If it is, switching is unintelligent, or if it is not, switching is intelligent.

please give me some suggestion, thanks
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18 Jan 2005, 06:29
I agree with you chunjuwu. The OA has to be B as thats the only statement which is talking about costs and thats what we are dealing in the question.
18 Jan 2005, 06:29
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