(running slight temperature, and beset with allergic sneezing fits, so this is going to be short)
CSE’s out with another report on pesticides. The companies had not been cleared, but the issue had been forgotten for a while. Buried. Last time around, I argued for the companies in a college debate and won…even though I felt they were guilty, because it was my task to argue in their favour. I used the Outlook reports, and put the onus on the consumer – if the consumer is so worried, then the consumer should stop.
Suhel Seth (representing the cola companies) faced off with Sunita Narain of the CSE on CNN-IBN today. During the debate, he accused, incorrectly, Ms. Narain of making logical errors while voicing her views.
Those who haven’t studied logic might have believed him, just because he mentioned something like ‘logical errors’. Here’s a list of errors, some logical, that Mr. Seth himself made during the debate:
* He said: companies are global and follow international standards. They have a large customer base who trust that the products are safe. Logical fallacy: common belief
* He said: The companies care for their customers. Why would they do this? Logical Fallacy: begging the question
* He said: There are no global standards (therefore India cannot have one). Fallacy: dont remember which fallacy it is, but – this doesn’t mean that one country cannot set standards for herself
* He said: Outlook sent samples to London, independent test and no problems in the drinks. Fallacy: Does not hold valid until the same samples from the same bottle are tested by two different agencies
* He said: They have same standards as their parent companies. Fallacy: doesnt mean that those standards are being adhered to in India.
* He said: this is an attempt by one small NGO (or one person) to gain fame by targetting large companies. Logical Fallacy: Ad hominem (attacking the person).