Friends of the Earth has been rebuked by the advertising regulator and forced to promise it will not repeat pseudo-scientific claims about the economic, environmental and health effects of fracking. FoE published a scaremongering campaign leaflet last year warning fracking would be responsible for everything from falling house prices to asthma and cancer. Now the Advertising Standards Authority has extracted a pledge from the group that future literature will not include the claims, none of which could be evidenced. The watchdog said the environmentalists must:
- Not claim that fluid used in fracking contains chemicals dangerous to human health or that it would contaminate drinking water;
- Not claim a US fracking site was responsible for increases in asthma rates or that the public would be at risk of equivalent increases in asthma rates in the UK;
- Not claim that there is an established risk of the chemicals concerned causing cancer and other conditions among the local population;
- Not claim that fracking will cause plummeting house prices.
That means the entire ‘scientific’ basis of FoE’s anti-fracking lobbying effort has been debunked. Importantly, these now banned claims were made on a leaflet intended to solicit donations from the public: Friends of the Earth is a registered charity. Guido understands a complaint has been put in to the Fund Raising Regulator. FoE is yet to remove the claims from its website. Quite literally fracking unbelievable…