Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


Public Health England’s draft report on shale gas extraction

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 17 April 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g2728

Rapid Response:

Rebutting and Responding to Criticisms of the Medact Report on Fracking and Health

The Medact report Fracking and Health has been challenged and criticised by the UK onshore oil and gas industry; and a number of pro-fracking individuals via social media. In addition, a news item published by The Times falsely claimed that the Medact report had been written by an ‘activist’.

Today, Medact has published a rebuttal to these criticisms. All substantive criticisms were looked at in detail, but none gave reason to change the conclusions and recommendations of the Medact report.

We also note that a number of criticisms were bogus and spurious which suggest a failure to carefully read the Medact report; a wish to incorrectly suggest that the Medact report is full of errors; or an intention to muddy the waters and create (even more) misunderstanding about fracking amongst the public and policy-making community.

A clear, transparent and evidence-based debate about fracking is important. While it is entirely legitimate for those with vested interests in the shale gas industry to express their views; the general public and government officials need to be clear about which voices are potentially conflicted and which are not.

Visit - - to read the full rebuttal.

Competing interests: No competing interests

22 April 2015
David McCoy
Director of Medact and Senior Clinical Lecturer at QMUL
Patrick Saunders
28 Charles Square, The Grayston Centre, N1 6HT