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Parents may face jail if their kids are on vegan diets

By Owen Weldon     Aug 10, 2016 in Food
In Italy, there is a proposed law that could affect parents who impose vegan diets on their kids. If passed, parents could be sentenced to jail for up to four years.
If one politician gets her way, parents who provide their children with an inadequate diet will face up to four years in jail. The politician, Elvira Savino of the Forza Italia party, wrote that kids potentially lack nutrients such as zinc, B12 and iron when they are on a vegan diet. In turn, anemia and neurological problems can develop.
The proposed law, nicknamed Savino Law, comes after a occurrences involving kids malnourished because of a poorly-constructed vegan diet was forced on them by their parents.
In one case, a one-year-old baby was taken away from his parents. This was because he was hospitalized due to severe calcium deficiency. The boy was on a vegan diet. This is one of the four cases involving vegan kids being removed from their parents in the country in the last 18 months.
Savino said throughout Italy, there is a belief that even the most rigid form of a vegan diet can result in significant health benefits. She said as long as a person is an informed adult, then there's nothing wrong with making the choice to follow this diet. She said when minors are involved, then it becomes an issue.
As of now, the law has yet to pass. If it does, then those who are legally responsible for kids under 16 who show signs of malnutrition resulting in long-term health problems could be sentenced up to four years behind bars.
The Vegan Society, based in the UK, argues that the proposed legislation is not necessary. A spokesperson spoke with Newsweek, and said that the case in Milan was an isolated incident. The spokesperson also said that vegan diets are suitable for those at any stage in life and for any age, and that's according to the British Dietetic Association.
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