The term "phytotechnologies" refers to the application of science and engineering to provide solutions involving plants, including phytoremediation options using plants and associated microbes to remediate environmental compartments contaminated by trace elements (TE) and organic xenobiotics (OX). An extended knowledge of the uptake, translocation, storage, and detoxification mechanisms in plants, of the interactions with microorganisms, and of the use of "omic" technologies (functional genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics), combined with genetic analysis and plant improvement, is essential to understand the fate of contaminants in plants and food, nonfood and technical crops. The integration of physicochemical and biological understanding allows the optimization of these properties of plants, making phytotechnologies more economically and socially attractive, decreasing the level and transfer of contaminants along the food chain and augmenting the content of essential minerals in food crops. This review will disseminate experience gained between 2004 and 2009 by three working groups of COST Action 859 on the uptake, detoxification, and sequestration of pollutants by plants and consequences for food safety. Gaps between scientific approaches and lack of understanding are examined to suggest further research and to clarify the current state-of-the-art for potential end-users of such green options.