The intensive and widespread use of pesticides has sparked serious concerns about the impact that current agricultural practices have on human health and the environment. A rigorous pesticide regulatory system, such as the European system, gives rise to a “safe use” perception, but the system has many shortcomings and insufficient validation. Holistic risk approaches and close monitoring for pesticide residues are needed to avoid the adverse effects of these compounds and encourage sustainable agricultural production. This PhD thesis focuses on two obvious yet greatly unknown aspects: i) the distribution of pesticide residues in EU agricultural soils, and ii) the needed market restrictions on pesticide use in order to meet the Farm to Fork 50% pesticide reduction goals. To address this, we measured multiple pesticide residues in EU topsoil samples, compared conventional and organic farming systems in four different areas, and developed scenarios to reduce pesticide impacts.