Osman Çaklı / DUVAR
Three lawyers in Turkey have filed a lawsuit against the Agriculture and Forestry Ministry in order to halt the usage of the herbicide Roundup, which many believe to be carcinogenic.
The American company Monsanto payed an $78 million settlement to a gardener diagnosed with lymphoma on the grounds that the company failed to warn the man about the cancer risks posed by the active ingredient glysophate.
Monsanto was acquired by the German pharmaceutical giant Bayer in 2018, and as of 2019 more than 40,000 people had filed lawsuits against the company, alleging that their cancer had been caused by glysophate.
Upon learning that 20,000 tons of Roundup is used in Turkey annually, lawyers Senih Özay, Hazar Can Kıpçak and Özge Işık applied to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry to cancel the license for the herbicide in Turkey, recall available product and cease its production within the country. The ministry did not respond after 60 days, which made the lawyers eligible to file a lawsuit.
“We will ensure that there will be an awakening among farmers in Turkey,” Özay said, adding that the lawyers also plan to sue Bayer following the conclusion of the case in Turkey.Turkish ministry says evacuation of Hasankeyf did not cause anybody damage
“We will file suit against Bayer with more strength if the trial in Turkey is decided in our favor, and with less morale if it is decided against us,” Özay said.
Turkey's Bayer/Monsanto branch has gotten involved in the trial, Özay said, presenting a defense to the court that alleges the lawyers have not personally used the products themselves.
“Aside from being an environmental lawyer, I am an ordinary citizen that purchases and consumes fruits and vegetables, so I am exposed to this chemical, even if in an indirect manner,” Özer said.