Consumer advocate: TMD, a pesticide used on peaches, shows no effects on human health when it is ingested in the amou...

TheFacu on December 2, 2015


Please explain thank you

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Mehran on December 3, 2015

Hi @TheFacu, thank you for your question. This is a Principle Logical Reasoning question. As noted in the LSATMax lecture, Principle questions test your understanding of sufficient & necessary logic--how to correctly use general principles to make valid deductions.

This particular Principle question asks us to select a general principle Sent from my iPad the argument in the stimulus.

Let's start with the stimulus and ensure we understand it. The consumer advocate concludes that the use of TMD "has not been shown to be an acceptable practice." What premise or premises are offered to support that claim? (1) TMD shows no effect on human health when ingested in the amount present in the per capita peach consumption in this country, but (2) certain parts of the population, including small children, eat much more than the national average, and so (3) these people ingest way more TMD.

So basically, from the claim that some people (e.g., small children) consume more of a pesticide than most people, and are therefore subject to harm from that pesticide, the consumer advocate concludes that the use of the pesticide has not been show to be acceptable.

Well, that's not necessarily true. It's a weak argument, because the consumer advocate does not establish a link between the harm to some people (small children) and the notion that the use of the pesticide is not acceptable. Think about it--a lot of stuff that is acceptable to use poses some harm to some people, right?

So we need a principle--a general rule--that strengthens the consumer advocate's position. Answer choice (C) does this. If it is true that the "use of a pesticide is acceptable ONLY IF it is used for its intended purpose AND the pesticide has been shown not to harm ANY portion of the population," then the use of TMD has indeed not been shown to be acceptable. The fact that TMD can harm a portion of the population (e.g., small children), means that the pesticide does not satisfy the second necessary part of this principle.

You can diagram answer choice (C) as: A ==> UIP and not HAPP.

Contrapositive: HAPP or not UIP ==> not A.

Hope this helps! Please let us know if you have any additional questions.