Italian Parents Feeding Children Vegan Diets Could Face Jail
Italy have just proposed a new law that will see parents that force their children to eat vegan diets face prision time after several cases of malnutrition.
MP Elvira Savino wants parents who give children under the age of 16 a diet “lacking essential elements for a healthy growth” to spend up to two years in prison.
Known as the “Savino law”, it aims to “stigmatise the reckless and dangerous eating behaviour imposed by parents ... to the detriment of minors”, reports Italian newspaper La Repubblica.
“There is no objection if the person making this choice is an informed adult. A problem arises when children are involved.”
If parents are found guilty of forcing kids to eat veggie-based diets, her proposal suggests prison time of up to one year and if the child falls ill, that sentence could increase to at least two years. If the child dies, Savino suggests parents face four to six years in prison.
Ms Savino’s proposal follows a number of cases in which young children were found to be malnourished because of a poor vegan diet.
A two-year-old girl from Genoa was hospitalised in June after showing neurological issues, which doctors believe stemmed from low vitamin B12 levels, the Telegraph reports.
A 14-month-old boy from Milan was also hospitalised after he was found to weigh as much as a three-month-old as a result of his diet.
It is estimated that only eight percent of Italians are vegetarian or vegan.