Cuadrilla Resources has confirmed it has reported a fracking leaflet produced by Friends of the Earth to the Advertising Standards Authority, saying it was misleading and scaremongering. The company says it has also reported FoE to the Charity Commission.
Friends of the Earth said the health and environmental impacts of fracking was well-documented and the public were right to be concerned about it.
The leaflet aimed to raise money to campaign against fracking. It said: “Help protect your community from:
- Chemicals that could cause cancer
- Air pollution and higher asthma risk
- Water contamination
- Plummeting house prices and bigger insurance bills
Cuadrilla’s Chief Executive, Francis Egan, said in a statement:
“It is irresponsible and shameful that a charity such as Friends of the Earth should use misleading and scaremongering statements to encourage members to part with their hard earned money.
“Friends of the Earth must know perfectly well that the UK Environment Agency would never permit the use of a ‘toxic cocktail of chemicals’ in UK fracking fluid and Cuadrilla has no intention of doing so.”
“Furthermore there is no credible scientific evidence that the non-hazardous chemicals proposed for use in Cuadrilla’s UK fracking fluid having caused cancer or any other human disease.”
Michael Roberts and Ken Wilkinson, two supporters of fracking, have also complained about the leaflet to the ASA (reproduced here). They said:
- The use of the words “dangerous” and “threatened” in relation to fracking were inaccurate
- It was incorrect to say fracking used “a toxic cocktail of chemicals”
- The statement that fracking fluid could end up in drinking was unproven
- It was incorrect to say the planning decision in Lancashire had been concluded
- Experiences in the US should not be extrapolated to the UK
Friends of the Earth’s head of campaigns, Andrew Pendleton, said: “There is a growing body of evidence to suggest negative health and environmental impacts from fracking.
“It has already been banned in New York State because of a two-year long study that found ‘significant health risks’.
“We are helping people in the UK to resist fracking being pushed in their area by companies like Cuadrilla, who have the backing of David Cameron and George Osborne.
“The public are right to be concerned about fracking because it is a controversial and risky technique that produces more dirty fossil fuels that cause climate change and could threaten our water.
“To avoid dangerous climate change, more than 80% of known fossil fuel reserves must stay in the ground. So, setting up a whole new fossil fuel industry in the form of fracking will only add to the stockpile of fossil fuels that we can’t burn.”