French vegans charged with child neglect

Vegan parents of an 11-month-old girl who died from vitamin deficiency will stand trial on charges of child neglect in France after it was revealed the baby was fed only on her mother’s milk

Two strict vegans have gone on trial in France following the death of their breastfed 11-month-old daughter.

Sergipe and Joel Le Moaligou have been charged with neglect and food deprivation after their child was found to be suffering from vitamin deficiency.

A postmortem of the child reported she weighed a mere 5.7kg, instead of the recommended 8kg. She was suffering from deficiencies of vitamins A and B12, which may have left her susceptible to infection, and died of a pneumonia-related illness.

Deputy prosecutor, Anne-Laure Sandretto, told the court in Amiens: ‘The problem with a vitamin B12 deficiencycould be linked to the mother’s eating habits,’ while taking care not to call in to question the couple’s lifestyle.

At the time of the baby’s death, the parents, who also have a healthy 13-year-old daughter, were running an organic food business and refused to eat any animal products.

The mother’s lawyer, Stephane Daquo, says: ‘The couple did not follow the doctor’s advice to take the baby to hospital when they went for her nine-month checkup and found she was suffering from bronchitis and was losing weight.’

Patrick Quenel, lawyer for the father, whose business has since gone in to liquidation, says the couple remain strict vegans and are completely aware of the mistakes they made.

The couple have been charged with neglect and food deprivation followed by death and face up to 30 years in prison if convicted.

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