Italy wants parents who push the vegan diet on their children to go to jail. An Italian politician wants parents to account for imposing vegan diets or other types of unhealthy eating behavior on their children.
Elvira Savino, who is the deputy of the Forza Italia center-right wing party, is trying to pass legislation which will affect children of ages sixteen and below. The law will make “inadequate” dieting for children illegal. It will sentence parents who push vegan diets on the child to up to six years of jailtime.
The law has been dubbed the “Savino law” and its goal is to “stigmatise dangerous eating behaviours imposed by parents” against the wellbeing of minors.
The law is specifically targeted at vegan diets. These types of diets exclude meat, animal products of any kind, eggs or dairy from the children’s diets, which could leave them exposed to iron, zinc, and B vitamin deficiency. These vitamins are essential for a child’s development.
Savino introduced the law by saying that the belief about the vegan diet has important health benefits is spreading across Italy. However, those who make the choice of being a vegan should be informed adults, not children.
The punishment for parents whose children get sick or injured because of malnutrition is from two years and a half to four years in prison, and between four and six years in prison if the child died as a result of the vegan diet.
This proposal comes in the aftermath of many highly publicized cases of malnutrition caused by veganism.
A one-year-old boy from Milan was raised on a vegan diet and he was diagnosed with severe malnourishment, weighing only 5 kilograms, almost as much as a newborn.
He had low levels of calcium, which could have endangered his survival if doctors had not acted. He also had to go through heart surgery because of his aggravated heart condition.
And in June, a two-year-old girl spent several days in an intensive care unit in a hospital of Genoa, because she was diagnosed with severe vitamin deficiencies because of her vegan diet.
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