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 Robert Carroll
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Your reasoning for answer choice (C) is perfect. If other countries are also doing it, there's less chance the the US actions are actually having any effect.

For one thing to be the reason another increases, there must be causation. So the author is committed to a cause and effect argument, with all the flaws that always involves.

And one more thing - you're right that "greatly increases" is vague, but the question type is Weaken! So all we have to do is make the argument even a little bit worse. Whatever effect US manufacturing is having, that effect is less likely to manifest if other countries are also doing the same thing. The argument isn't disproven, but it's somewhat worse, which is all we can ever ask of an answer choice for a Weaken question.

Robert Carroll
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Hi, Powerscore,
I am still a little bit confused as to why B is incorrect. Like C, B gives another possible answer to weaken the conclusion. If most pesticide exports are not harmful ones, we cannot safely conclude that this practice (manufacturing harmful pesticides and then the food used imported back to the U.S.) greatly increases the health risk.
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 Jonathan Evans
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Hi, CJ12345,

While it may be true that (pesticides exported by the United States :most: not among those banned for use), this relative comparison between amounts of pesticide exported does not address the absolute amount of the banned pesticides exported.

Even if the banned pesticides are a minority of those exported, it is still entirely within the realm of possibility that this practice could greatly increase the health risk to US consumers.

Without adding additional unwarranted assumptions, this answer at best is a wash for weakening the argument.

Further, weaken questions exist on a spectrum. This question for example asks for what "most seriously weakens" the argument's conclusion.

You correctly note that answer choice (C) does directly attack the validity of the conclusion.

Since we have a direct attack in (C) and a proposition in answer choice (B) that is more tenuous, answer choice (C) is an objectively better choice.

I hope this helps!

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