UKOOG, the trade body for the onshore oil and gas industry, welcomes today’s publication of the UK Advertising Standards Association’s final ruling on Friends of the Earth’s leaflet ‘Pat Saved Her Home From Fracking. You Can Save Yours too’.
The ASA found that the leaflet, which went to thousands of homes inviting them to donate up to £50 to the charity, was misleading in the following claims: –
Four Falsehoods from Friends of the Earth
FALSE; The fluid used in fracking contains chemicals dangerous to human health, and that the fluid would, as a natural consequence of the act of fracking, contaminate the drinking water of nearby communities because it remained underground;
FALSE: The US fracking site [the FoE leaflet] referred to was responsible for the increase in asthma rates, and that the public would be at risk of equivalent increases in asthma rates by living or working near a fracking site in the UK;
FALSE: That there is an established risk of the chemicals concerned causing cancer and other conditions among the local population, when used in fracking in the UK, and that:
FALSE: Fracking will cause plummeting house prices.
Friends of the Earth has agreed to withdraw all the claims and has agreed that “it will not repeat the claims, or claims which have the same meaning, in future”.
Ken Cronin, Chief Executive of UKOOG, said: “This is an important ruling by the authority, which consulted with numerous independent scientific, health and regulatory experts before concluding that the anti-fracking myths perpetrated by Friends of the Earth were fundamentally false.
“The opponents of onshore oil and gas development must withdraw their scaremongering rhetoric and argue on the basis of the facts, which quite clearly show that the risks associated with fracking can be mitigated by the strong regulation and world renowned best practice that we benefit from in the UK.”