Hyeyoung Kim and Lisa A. House
University of Florida, Gainesville

This study focused on investigating how consumers’ perceptions of biotechnology used in food production differs depending on the level of product transformation (i.e., fresh versus processed food) across multi-cultural backgrounds. Comparisons of consumers from four regions-Belgium/Spain, France/Germany, Japan, and the United States-were performed to measure relative attitudes about biotech food. The results indicated that where respondents had differing perceptions of the healthiness of fresh fruit or fruit juice when informed that the products were produced from genetically modified trees, the difference tended to be perceived for both fresh fruit and fruit juice. Consumers’ initial perceptions about the food, attitudes about biotech food, and nation of residency were important factors explaining health perception differences. Consumers in Japan were the most sensitive, along with consumers in France/Germany. Consumers in the United States were the least sensitive.

Key words: Biotechnology, product transformation, apple, cross-cultural study.