Help with Hypothesis Testing

:confused: Hello. Let me start off by saying Thank You :) for helping with people like me who are statistically challenged. I would like to think that I am a semi-intelligent person, but can't really grasp the concept of statistics. I am doing coursework and my assignment is as follows:

I am required to read the following and answer the questions that are immediately following. I will also provide what I have came up with so far.

WASHINGTON - Talks between the United States and the European Community over opening up Europe to genetically modified foods broke down in Geneva on Thursday, the Bush administration announced, heightening trans-Atlantic tensions.

U.S. officials said they would soon request that the World Trade Organization convene a panel to hear the case in an effort to end a ban that farm groups say is depriving agricultural businesses of hundreds of billions of dollars a year.

The Bush administration called Europe's policy illegal, saying that scientific research has shown genetically altered crops to be safe. European officials said the long-term effects remain uncertain. They said they were disappointed by the administration's public announcement of the breakdown.

The food dispute is one of a handful of trade fights between the United States and Europe and comes as tensions linger over the war in Iraq, which many European countries opposed.

Trade officials also continue to haggle over steel tariffs imposed last year by the Bush administration, farm subsidies on both sides of the Atlantic and a U.S. law that reduces taxes for companies with overseas operations, among other issues.

"There have never been more of these litigations than there are right now," said Robert Lighthizer, a trade attorney at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in Washington. "It's extremely contentious."

U.S. and European officials met Thursday in Geneva for a round of negotiations, known as a consultation, after the United States filed suit at the WTO over the issue last month. Thursday's announcement means the trade organization will soon begin selecting a panel of judges to hear the case, although a decision is likely to take months.

Genetically modified food - which can grow more quickly than traditional crops and be resistant to insects - has caused scant controversy in the United States, where people eat altered food every day. Almost 40 percent of all corn planted in this country in genetically modified.

In Europe, however, the environmental movement is more powerful, and a series of food problems, including mad cow disease, have made people far more skeptical of assurances of safety from governments and businesses. Some food packages there bear the label, "GM free," and the initials are well enough known to be used regularly in headlines in British newspapers.

The European Commission has permitted the use of some genetically modified foods, like soybeans, over the last decade but has effectively placed a moratorium on most new products in recent years.

The Bush administration and agricultural businesses like Monsanto view the policy as simple protectionism because U.S. companies, which have made more progress altering crops, would benefit most from lifting the ban.

Without the ban, U.S. companies would export about $300 billion more in corn each year than they now are, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.

In a speech last month, President Bush escalated the dispute by saying that Europe's policy was undermining efforts to fight hunger in Africa. Fearing that they will be shut out of the European market, some African countries have not invested in technology that could increase their output of food, Bush said.

European diplomats reacted angrily to Bush's comments, saying their health concerns were serious and noting that European nations spend a greater portion of their budget on foreign aid than the United States.

European officials have also said they are surprised the United States has highlighted the dispute recently. The European Parliament is scheduled this summer to consider a measure that would establish strict labeling rules for the products and that could allow the selling of more of them.

Europe's resistance to modified crops received a political lift last week when a global treaty restricting them was finalized. Although it is not clear what effect the treaty, known as the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, will have on the trade dispute, the agreement is likely to make it easier for countries to restrict the crops, trade experts say.

Credit: New York Times

1. What will your null and alternative hypotheses be? (Hint: Ensure your null and alternative hypotheses are logical opposites. Express each of the two hypotheses with one complete sentence each.)

Null-There is a possibility of significant health risks involved with Genetically Modified foods compared to Non-Genetically Modified Foods.

Alt- There is no possibility of health risks involved with Genetically Modified Foods as with Non-Genetically Modified foods.

2. What significance level will you use to test this hypothesis? Why this level? (Hint: When are you most likely to use a high significance level—when making a statistical error would inflict catastrophic negative impact on the world or when it would inflict little negative impact?)

I would use the more conservative 0.01(1%) significance level due to the possible negative impact on human health.

3. What statistic will you use to test the hypothesis? Why? (Hint: Check your null hypothesis…is it guessing about differences in averages or is it speculating about a relationship between two sets of data?)


4. Would the Chi Square hypothesis test apply to this study? Why? (Hint: Chi Square is for nominal data having no presumed distribution—are the data for your GM vs. NGM tests nominal without predetermined distribution?)


Any help/guidance that anyone can provide would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again


TS Contributor
You need to reverse the hypotheses in #1 - the null is almost always used to state "no effect" or "no difference"

and as a result, your logic in #2 needs to be changed as well (hint: you would want to find even a little bit of evidence that it was harmful....)