Explores the scope for using genetically modified organisms by undertaking a survey which considered awareness (knowledge) of and policy implications for both the UK food retailer and manufacturer. Uses interviews and a postal questionnaire. Finds that the UK food retailing industry is generally well-informed, while in contrast to the retailers, food manufacturers are, in general, poorly informed and show a lack of awareness of possible products and the implications their usage may have for their companies. Few are abreast of research and development in this area. Both retailers and food manufacturers believe that biotechnology could be applied beneficially to many aspects of food production, and are aware of the many consumer concerns and issues which need to be addressed.