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Friends Of The Earth Lie About Their Lies

January 6, 2017

By Paul Homewood


h/t Joe Public


On Wednesday, we learnt the Advertising Standards Authority had found that Friends of the Earth had been spreading lies to the effect that fracking could cause cancer, contaminate water supplies, increase asthma rates and send house prices plummeting.

Following the ASA judgment, FOE agreed not to repeat such claims in future, unless the evidence changed.




However, it seems that FOE find it difficult to do anything other than lie.

Following the ASA decision, the Guardian reported:


Donna Hume, a Friends of the Earth senior campaigner, said: “No ruling has been made against us. The ASA offered to drop the case without ruling after we confirmed that a particular leaflet was no longer being used.


The ASA were understandably furious about this latest lie, and took the highly unusual step of issuing their own statement the following day:


One week into 2017 and the action we’ve taken to stop misleading ad claims about fracking by Friends of the Earth has hit the national media and prompted widespread debate and commentary.  But amidst the reports, the public comments by the parties involved and the social media chatter, there’s a risk that the facts become obscured.

So let me be clear. We told Friends of the Earth that based on the evidence we’d seen, claims it made in its anti-fracking leaflet or claims with the same meaning cannot be repeated, and asked for an assurance that they wouldn’t be.  Friends of the Earth gave us an assurance to that effect.  Unless the evidence changes, that means it mustn’t repeat in ads claims about the effects of fracking on the health of local populations, drinking water or property prices.

Friends of the Earth has said we “dropped the case”. That’s not an accurate reflection of what’s happened.  We thoroughly investigated the complaints we received and closed the case on receipt of the above assurance.  Because of that, we decided against publishing a formal ruling, but plainly that’s not the same thing as “dropping the case”.  Crucially, the claims under the microscope mustn’t reappear in ads, unless the evidence changes.  Dropped cases don’t have that outcome.

Resolving cases informally, usually following our receipt of an assurance that claims won’t be repeated, is an important tool in our toolkit, allowing us to be proportionate and targeted in how we tackle problems.  No-one should be under any illusion that the process of looking into these matters is anything other than rigorous.

  1. Joe Public permalink
    January 6, 2017 11:08 am

    For those interested, there’s a petition to:

    “Tell Rob Wilson MP to act on charities that use questionable fundraising tactics” at:

    • Ex-expat Colin permalink
      January 6, 2017 11:42 am

      Done..and I wish they’d all stop the begging on TV each night. Don’t want their cuddly China toy either.

      • HotScot permalink
        January 6, 2017 5:33 pm

        Also signed.

  2. January 6, 2017 11:10 am

    Another piece of cheery news, ocean scientists, keen on jumping onto the gravy train, toy-throwing about a press watchdog ruling against Dellers that did no go their way:

  3. tom0mason permalink
    January 6, 2017 11:16 am

    Yes FoE would probably prefer windfarms littering the world. Like this one in Finland —

    This catastrophe kill someone after temperatures plummeted to new record lows in the region.
    I see that Finland has a new record cold at -41.7°C see

    and the mass transit stops running see –

    and the wind mills have major problems see —

  4. January 6, 2017 11:18 am

    Some young female (with verbal diarrhea but little brain-power) from FoE appeared on Channel 4 news the other evening to say that they hadn’t been ruled against by the ASA, that they stood by everything they said in the leaflet (as it was backed up by hundreds of peer-reviewed papers) and that they wouldn’t use the old leaflet but would continue to make the same claims in the future as they stood by everything they claimed. FoE are congenital liars. It must be in the genes of those who are attracted to the organisation.

    • NeilC permalink
      January 6, 2017 11:27 am

      Phillip, as well as being congenital liars, they are also marxist activists wishing UN world domination and the distruction of western world society.

      We will see what Mr Trump has to say about that eh!

    • richard verney permalink
      January 6, 2017 1:09 pm

      I watched that interview. it was incredible. A clear case of denial and misdirection. One can see why the ASA felt compelled to issue another statement.

  5. January 6, 2017 11:43 am

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News and commented:
    They won’t go quietly:
    an FoE spokesperson said Mr Parker’s comments did not “accurately reflect the agreement” the organisation reached with the ASA.

    “Our chief executive, and legal advisor, have gone to the ASA this afternoon to speak with them and challenge this,” the spokesperson said.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      January 6, 2017 1:50 pm

      I bet they now wish they had nailed them good and proper. Perhaps they can reopen the case and make a clear ruling against the liars at FOE.

  6. Jackington permalink
    January 6, 2017 11:52 am

    FoE are absolutely shameless watermelons.

  7. January 6, 2017 12:49 pm

    They get a lotta money from idiots and foreign activists though that ought to go to real research and real poverty.

  8. January 6, 2017 4:20 pm

    I see no sign of contrition nor even any sign that the ASA ruling is having any effect
    repeat “facts”

  9. manicbeancounter permalink
    January 6, 2017 4:24 pm

    The origin of the grossly misleading statements is to be found on the Friends of the Earth website.
    Last year fracking company Cuadrilla complained to the Advertising Standards Authority about one of our anti fracking leaflets.

    But after more than a year, the complaint has been closed without a ruling.

    The scientific evidence that fracking can cause harm to people and the environment keeps stacking up. Friends of the Earth is not alone in pointing out the risks of fracking, to the climate, to public health, of water contamination, and to the natural environment.

    Compare that to the ASA statement.
    FoE then go onto to mislead, by quoting a peer-reviewed article. I found this article.
    – 685 peer-reviewed articles have failed to find strong evidence of a significant large risk to human health from fracking.
    – The article was published in PLOS-ONE, an online journal. Unlike conventional Journals, that submission criteria do not include saying something novel about the subject area. These conventional journals require this to attract subscribers. At PLOS-ONE, the authors pay a $1495 fee before publication.
    – The PLOS-ONE journal has also used by Stephen Lewandowsky.
    FoE are thus correct that the evidence keeps stacking up. But good quality evidence is absent.

  10. January 6, 2017 4:26 pm

    I am afraid I usually tell students that they will have two main tasks in the near future, one get rid of thousands of rusting unsightly wind farm machines from inland and coastal offshore areas, keep the b….y lights on. It does not always go down well with my peers, but I remember the 1970s and 1980s power debacles. Terry Langford.

  11. Reasonable Skeptic permalink
    January 6, 2017 6:11 pm

    Activists lie. Always have and always will. It is in their best interest to do so and they are accountable to no one so why would they change?

    No accountability = No truth.

  12. January 7, 2017 12:14 am

    Good to see ASA showing spine in confronting FoE. There is more to this pattern of making up stuff to raise funds for climate activism.

  13. January 7, 2017 6:52 am

    More here, particularly mention of the FoE girl who appeared on the Channel 4 News.

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