Italian Member of Parliament Elvira Savino wants the government to jail parents who feed their children a vegan diet. She claims she has nothing against the vegan diet, which requires absolutely NO animal products:

“I just find it absurd that some parents are allowed to impose their will on children in an almost fanatical, religious way, often without proper scientific knowledge or medical consultation,” she said.

Most pediatricians have nothing against a vegan diet for children as long as they receive nutrients in other ways, especially vitamin B12. But numerous cases of malnourished children in Italy inspired Savino, especially since at least four only had a vegan diet:

Last month in the northern city of Milan, doctors determined that a one-year-old boy who was taken to a hospital had the weight of a three-month-old because of a vegan diet.

In 2015, an Italian court ordered a divorced mother to stop raising her 12-year-old son on a vegan diet after the boy’s father filed a complaint that it was stunting his growth.

In her bill, she wrote:

“There is no objection if the person making this choice is an informed adult. The problem arises when children are involved… The vegetarian or vegan diet is, in fact, deficient in zinc, iron, vitamin D, vitamin B12 and omega-3”.

Her draft bill aims to “stigmatise the reckless and dangerous eating behaviour imposed by parents” who pursue a vegan diet, “to the detriment of minors”.

Offenders would face up to a year in jail – rising to a maximum of four years where the child suffers illness or permanent injury and six years in the case of death.

Savino also said she wants pediatricians “to report vegan parents to authorities just as they would if they noticed signs of physical abuse on a child.”


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