Alternatives to donor blood have been developed in part to meet increasing demand. However, new biotechnologies are often associated with increased perceptions of risk and low acceptance. This paper reviews developments of alternatives and presents data, from a field-based experiment in the UK and Holland, on the risks and acceptance of donor blood and alternatives (chemical, genetically modified and bovine). UK groups perceived all substitutes as riskier than the Dutch. There is a negative association between perceived risk and acceptability. Solutions to increasing acceptance are discussed in terms of implicit attitudes, product naming and emotional responses.