Question

Many people suffer an allergic reaction to certain sulfites, including those that are commonly added to wine as preservatives. However, since there are several winemakers who add sulfites to none of the wines they produce, people who would like to drink wine but are allergic to sulfites can drink wines produced by these winemakers without risking an allergic reaction to sulfites.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?

(Because of copyrights, the complete official question is not copied here. You can access the question here: GMAT Club)

Difficulty: Medium

Accuracy: 68%

Based on: 6230 sessions

Solution

The Story

Many people suffer an allergic reaction to certain sulfites, including those that are commonly added to wine as preservatives. – Many people are allergic to certain sulfites. Some of these sulfites are commonly added to wine.

However, since there are several winemakers who add sulfites to none of the wines they produce, people who would like to drink wine but are allergic to sulfites can drink wines produced by these winemakers without risking an allergic reaction to sulfites. – Several winemakers do not add sulfites to their wines.
People can consume wines made by these winemakers without risking an allergic reaction to sulfites.

Author’s logic:
Since several winemakers do not add sulfites to their wines (basis), people can consume these wines without the risk of an allergic reaction to sulfites (main point).

Gap(s) in logic:
So, these winemakers do not add sulfites to their wines. But, what if some of the allergy-inducing sulfites occur naturally in one of the ingredients of the wines?

Question Stem

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?

Prediction:
If the winemakers do not add them, sulfites will not be present in their wines. Allergy-inducing sulfites do not occur naturally in the ingredients of wines made by these winemakers.

Answer choice analysis

Answer Choice: A

Incorrect

Selected by: 10%

So these winemakers were able to achieve the objective of adding sulfites by some other means.
The main point of the argument deals with allergic reactions to sulfites.
Whether the sulfite-replacement process added other potential allergenic substances is irrelevant to the argument.
Further, is it necessary for the argument that the replacements do not come with allergies? It isn’t. The argument, as mentioned before too, focuses only on sulfites-related allergies – whether consumers would risk allergic reaction to sulfites by drinking wines made by these specific winemakers. Other allergenic substances are irrelevant.

Answer Choice: B

Incorrect

Selected by: 1%

Irrelevant. So some forms of sulfites are more likely to produce allergic reactions than others. What about wines in which winemakers do not add wines? Will people have an allergic reaction to sulfites through those wines as well? We do not learn anything along those lines.

Also, even if all forms of sulfite are equally likely to produce an allergic reaction (negation), the argument’s logic remains intact.

Answer Choice: C

Incorrect

Selected by: 1%

What if there are other beverages to which sulfites are commonly added (negation)? Even so, there’s no impact on the argument.
This statement is not even relevant to, let alone necessary for, the argument.

Answer Choice: D

Incorrect

Selected by: 20%

This answer choice could seem attractive – If we are not precise.
The conclusion of the argument says that people would be able to consume wines made by these specific winemakers (those who do not add sulfites) without any risk of an allergic reaction to sulfites. So not any allergic reaction at all, but specifically, allergic reactions to sulfites.

Even if there are other substances commonly present in wine that give rise to an allergic reaction (negation), the argument’s logic is not impacted at all

Answer Choice: E

Correct

Selected by: 68%

Bang on! This one is in line with our initial thinking.
If sulfites are naturally present in the wines produces by these winemakers, and that too in enough quantity to produce an allergic reaction (negation), the author’s logic falls completely flat. The negation breaks the argument down. This answer choice strengthens the argument and is necessary for the argument.

If you have any doubts regarding any part of this solution, please feel free to ask in the comments section.

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