Nowadays, it is more realistic to view the development of a new technology as a result of a complex social system of interactions and decisions. Understanding the public's range of views on biotechnology is important for decision makers, in order to be able to anticipate potential acceptance problems or, one step further, to take consumer or public desires and concerns into account so that desirable applications can be developed. Previous work from the same research group, using data from Eurobarometer surveys, was trying to explore the attitudes of the European consumers towards genetic modification of food. Emerging differences in attitudes towards genetically modified food have not been explained adequately in most cases using only sociodemographic variables. In addition strong national differences lead to the idea that cultural differences should also be taken into account, despite the difficulties in formulating specific hypotheses that can be tested empirically. In this paper, in an effort to approach culture in a more clear way, we try to track down and analyse the specific units (customs, traditions, beliefs, and other social norms) that comprise cultures. The notion of cultural syndromes as approached by Triandis is tackled. Furthermore applying data from the European Social Survey (ESS) to Schwartz's value system, our objective is to validate empirically the potential utilisation of Schwartz values to further explain existing differences in attitudes towards GM food among European countries. Further research can lead to a deeper and more precise understanding of cultural differentiation as well as to a more valid cross-cultural theory of attitude formation.