Proposed Italian Law Will Prosecute Parents Who Feed Children A Vegan Diet

August 12, 2016
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Italian politician, Elvira Savino is asking for laws around parents who impose vegan and other diets which she deems “reckless and dangerous eating behaviour” on their kids.

Savino says that she wants a law that is aimed at protecting children from diets which can deprive them of iron and other important vitamins.

As the deputy of the centre-right Forza Italia party, Savino is proposing legislation which could sentence parents up to six years in prison for giving their children 16 years and younger, an “inadequate” diet.

The proposed law is being labelled the “Savino law” by Italian media.

The law refers to mainly vegan diets, which are meat, egg, animal product and dairy free. Savino says that without these foods, children lack essential nutrients such as B12, zinc and iron which are necessary for a developing child.

In the introduction to the proposal, Savino wrote about the belief that “a vegetarian diet, even in the rigid form of a vegan diet, results in significant health benefits” was becoming more widespread in Italy.

She also said that “There is no objection if the person making this choice is an informed adult. A problem arises when children are involved.”

In order to counter the “ideological excesses” linked to this kind of diet, she proposed a year prison sentence for the simple offence, however, an extended one is proposed should the child be under the age of 3.

For parents whose kids became ill or injured due to malnutrition – the sentence ranged from 2 years and 6 months to 4 years. If the malnutrition results in death, a 4-6 year sentence is proposed.

There have been a number of high-profile cases of malnutrition linked to veganism in Italy. In one case, a-year-old boy who was raised on a strict vegan diet was removed from his parent’s custody after being diagnosed with extreme malnutrition – weighing just 5kg.

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