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‘Radicalized’ Vegetarian Parents Face Prison Under Proposed Italian Law

A proposed new Italian law seeks to imprison parents who put their kids on a vegetarian diet. Representing the center-right Forza Italia Party, MP Elvira Savino has proposed legislation stipulating that parents who feed children under 16 a "diet lacking essential elements for an healthy growth" could face up to two years in prison.

Savino said she made her proposal to protect kids from what she described as "radicalized" parents, forcing children to have a diet that lacks "essential elements needed for healthy physical and cognitive development." She accepts that adults can choose whether or not they want to eat meat, but not children. 

She stated that diets not inclusive of animal products could deprive children of B12, iron and zinc, which could leave them vulnerable to anemia and neurological problems. The MP remarked that the purpose of the "Savino Law" is to "definitely stigmatize negligent parental behaviors which put minors at risk." 

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If passed, a basic violation of the law would earn an offender a year in prison, but if the offense leads to a child "getting permanently sick or hurt," the penalty increases to two years, and could possibly reach six years, in the event of a child’s death as a result of malnutrition.

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