GRE Essay Topic 949 - The following appeared in the summary of a study on headaches suffered by the residents of Mentia. "Salicylates are members of the same chemical family as aspirin, a medicine used to treat headaches. Although many foods are naturally rich in salicylates, for the past several decades food-processing companies have also been adding salicylates to foods as preservatives. This rise in the commercial use of salicylates has been found to correlate with a steady decline in the average number of headaches reported by participants in our twenty-year study. Recently, food-processing companies have found that salicylates can also be used as flavor additives for foods. With this new use for salicylates, we can expect a continued steady decline in the number of headaches suffered by the average citizen of Mentia. " Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument.
The study about the effects of Salicylates on the decline of the headache of people in Mentia and the conclusion
The study about the effects of Salicylates on the decline of the headache of people in Mentia and the conclusion for usage of these chemicals as a flavor in foods has various foibles in its argumentation and there is no strong reason to for the predictions to lead in the desired result. Therefore, in order to evaluate the authenticity of the argument different question should be answered.
First of all, this study hasn’t provided any statistical information and by providing them the prediction of the study could be cohesive. The first question here is that how many people has been surveyed in the study? The second one is that what was the gender of applicants in the study? And the last one is about the ages of participants in the study. Each one of these questions’ answer is critical to evaluate the study because there are differences in the biological and physiological system of men and women. Maybe Salicylates aren’t appropriate for pregnant women and if this is true, then companies aren’t allowed to use these flavors as additives to their foods which will be accessible for vulnerable people as pregnant. Also, if Salicylates aren’t appropriate for a the health of children or old people, then again the mentioned situation will be repeated that these chemicals aren’t good choices as food additives.
Moreover, in which range the study has surveyed Salicylates n foods of Mentia people? Are these chemicals concentration negligible or they are significant in foods? Due to the tolerance limit of each person body, the high grade of chemicals could be hazardous for the health. Also, beneath a definite level, the chemicals will lose their effects, so the range of these chemicals in foods should be provided in the study because of the fact that without these kinds of information there is a probability that companies use negligible level of Salicylates in their foods just to advertise their products as a healthy product, but with no effect on headaches of people due to the low level of these chemicals. The converse condition is also probable that for adding a flavor to foods, companies use Salicylates in their foods to sell them without considering an adverse effect of high level of these chemicals.
Furthermore, there is no guarantee that by the usage of these additives in foods by food-processing companies the favorable results will be repeated for other people rather than cases of study. Maybe participants of the study have been under the supervision of researchers and by this way they hadn’t accessed to any source which could have resulted in their headache. Maybe the study has run in an isolated atmosphere where the air condition was good, or people weren’t encountering with ordinary troubles of life and, as a result, their headaches have been declined. So the question must be answered that, is it probable to repeat the results of the study by setting it in a different condition from the experiments for peoples who didn’t participate in the study? If the answer is no, then it won’t be a good option for food-processing companies to use these chemicals as additives. Plus, the fact is that some Mentia people’s headaches who were participating in the program has been decreased, but is it probable for people from other areas? Why must this strategy have resulted in the same conclusion for people of different regions rather than Mentia? Also, it is true that the study length is 20 years, but it is not a definite conclusion that for next generations of Mentian people, the conditions of life is the same as their predecessors. The other fact that the companies’ results about effects of Salicylates are after the conclusion of the survey could be a reason that no firm relationship between study and strategies of companies is presented.
In sum, the prediction which has been provided in the article won’t result in the desired conclusion without considering above questions. Actually, without providing reliable answers to mentioned questions, the argumentation of the passage is not persuasive.
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