Public debate on biotechnology is embroiled in controversy over the risks and benefits associated with this emerging technology. Using data from a national survey, this study analyzes public acceptance of biotechnology in food production. Empirical results suggest that while there is general optimism about biotechnology, and support for its use in plants, public approval of its use in animals is perhaps more limited. Younger and more educated individuals are generally more supportive of biotechnology. Attitudes towards biotechnology differ substantially between males and females, and between whites and non-whites. While people's religious and social views, confidence in scientists, corporations and government have significant influence, income and regional differences do not have significant effects on public acceptance of biotechnology.