This document presents key messages and the state-of-the-art of soil pollution, its implications on food safety and human health. It aims to set the basis for further discussion during the forthcoming Global Symposium on Soil Pollution (GSOP18), to be held at FAO HQ from May 2nd to 4th 2018. The publication has been reviewed by the Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soil (ITPS) and contributing authors. It addresses scientific evidences on soil pollution and highlights the need to assess the extent of soil pollution globally in order to achieve food safety and sustainable development. This is linked to FAO’s strategic objectives, especially SO1, SO2, SO4 and SO5 because of the crucial role of soils to ensure effective nutrient cycling to produce nutritious and safe food, reduce atmospheric CO2 and N2O concentrations and thus mitigate climate change, develop sustainable soil management practices that enhance agricultural resilience to extreme climate events by reducing soil degradation processes.