INHS International Natural Hygiene Society

BACK to the case against veganism - 2



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French vegan couple's baby died of vitamin deficiency after being fed solely on breast milk

the mother - Sergine Le Moaligou A vegan couple who solely fed mother’s milk to their baby daughter before she died because of vitamin deficiency
faced life prison sentences in 2011.
Sergine and Joel Le Moaligou appeared before a judge and jury in Amiens, northern France, charged with neglect of Louise, their 11-month-old child.
Both are militant vegans whose diet forbids them eating any animal products whatsoever, and they only use alternative medicine.
They took up the lifestyle after watching a TV programme about cows being slaughtered, with Mr Le Moaligou setting up a biological food business which recently went bankrupt.

Mrs Le Moaligou, who is now 40, called an ambulance in March 2008 after her daughter started sweating profusely and crying, and appeared to have no energy. By the time the emergency services arrived at the family home in Saint Maulvis, a village in the Somme region north of Paris, Louise was dead.
She only weighed 5.7 kilos (12.5 pounds), compared to an average eight kilos for children of the same age.
Ambulance staff pointed out that the baby was thin and pale, before Mrs Le Moaligou admitted that she had solely been feeding her on her own breast milk. ‘The couple did not follow doctor’s advice to take their baby to hospital when she was suffering from bronchitis and was losing weight when they went for the nine-month check-up.
‘They preferred applying clay or cabbage poultices whose recipes they found in their books. These are people who read the wrong things at the wrong time’ - Defence lawyer Stephane Daquo
An autopsy then revealed that Louise had been suffering from a deficiency of vitamin A and B12 – both of which are essential to healthy growth in a child. Such deficiencies also increase a child’s sensitivity to infection.
Prosecutor Anne-Laure Sandretto told the court: ‘If the mother was not consuming enough vitamin B12, then the child would not be either.’

Stephane Daquo, for the couple, said they were originally inspired to become vegans after being upset by a TV programme about cows being killed in abattoirs. He said they also have a 13-year-old daughter who has never suffered any serious health problems. - They were also opposed to traditional medicines, and used alternative therapies instead. - Mr Daquo said: ‘The couple did not follow doctor’s advice to take their baby to hospital when she was suffering from bronchitis and was losing weight when they went for the nine-month check-up.
The child died in the couple's home near the town of Amiens, France.
Mr Le Moaligou’s lawyer, Patrick Quenel, said the couple remained committed vegans and were ‘wholly aware of the mistake they made’, but pleaded not guilty. The Le Moaligous were formally charged with ‘neglect and food deprivation followed by death’ which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years.
The Le Moaligou case is believed to be the first time that a couple have faced a prison sentence for a crime directly linked to a vegan lifestyle.

The parents were convicted to 5 years in jail:

The parents are strict vegans that reject even eggs and cow’s milk. They only allowed her the breast milk of Sergine Moaligou, 37.
When emergency crews responded to their calls, the baby was already dead in their home in a small village called Saint-Maulvis. She weighed just 12.5 pounds. She was found to have a vitamin A and B12 deficiency.
Dr. Mercola: How Mom's Vegan Diet Unintentionally Killed Her Innocent Child


Baby death parents spared jail
Friday, 14 September, 2001
The parents of a nine-month-old girl who died after being fed a fruit-based diet have been spared a jail sentence.
Areni Manuelyan died of a chest infection, brought on by malnutrition in July 2000 weighing just eleven and a half pounds, six pounds less than she should have. At her post mortem she was found to be markedly thin, dehydrated and to have severe pneumonia - all of which could be linked to malnutrition. At their trial, her parents, Garabet and Hazmik Manuelyan, both 45, pleaded guilty to child cruelty.
That would normally have resulted in a prison sentence. But at the Old Bailey on Friday, Judge David Paget said what had happened to the family was punishment enough.

Loving but misguided
The Armenian couple, from Staines, Surrey, described as "loving but misguided" in court, were placed under a community rehabilitation order for three years. Mrs Manuelyan still sleeps on the blanket that last held Areni.
She was described by Linda Strudwick who was defending her as "a mother who cared passionately for her children. Perhaps she cared too much."
The couple's two other children have been taken into care.
Judge Paget said: "This is a wholly exceptional and tragic case.
"You have been punished and will continue to be punished by the consequences of your actions."

The couple were vegans, but in 1996 switched to a fruitarian diet consisting of raw vegetables, fruit and nuts.
After Areni's birth on 8 September 1999, the family saw a paediatrician who said the baby was not developing properly, and that her mother's breastmilk was nutritionally deficient. Other doctors and social workers warned against the diet.
But the court was told the couple had shown a "stubborn refusal", and would not follow the advice.
Later, the family went to live on a vegetarian commune in Spain, where they believed Areni's Vitamin D deficiency would be cured by sunlight. The couple believed all Areni needed was "sunshine and fruit".
They returned to the UK in July 2000 when Areni became seriously ill. A doctor who the couple went to see, who specialised in oxygen therapy, told Areni's parents she needed to be taken to hospital immediately. But Mr Manuelyan, a bus driver, was said to be worried about the chemicals his daughter may be treated with, and the couple ignored the advice.
On July 5, 2000, an ambulance was called to the family home because Areni had stopped breathing. She was taken to hospital and later certified dead. A nutritionist said even if she had been taken to hospital the day before her death, she could have survived.

Nutritionists say a fruitarian, or fruit-only diet, is completely ill-advised for such a small child. They add that even adults need to be careful not to stick to a fruit-only diet for too long.
Catherine Collins, a spokeswoman for the British Dietetic Association, (BDA) said some fruitarians did eat raw vegetables or pulses. But she said: "The main problem for a nine-month old child is that they need a very high calorie to weight intake."
Without that, she said babies of that age - and younger - would not have the fuel they need for muscle growth, organ growth and brain development. They would miss out on proteins, iron, calcium, essential fatty acids and raw fibre, which will all affect their development.
BDF paediatric dietician Nicole Dos Santos said babies would also need the fat and nutrients they would receive from breast or bottle milk, and it was important babies received one or the other. She said a fruit-only diet was unsuitable for a child. "This is not a diet a child should be put on."


Couple found guilty of the manslaughter of their baby son jailed for five years each

Manslaughter trial of vegan parents
Tue, 4th June 2002
The manslaughter trial of Deborah and Roby Jan Moorhead continues. - The Dargaville couple have denied causing the death of their six-month-old child Caleb by failing to provide the necessaries of life.
In an interview with a detective, Jan Moorhead said he never knew his son was going to die until his final breath of life, because of his faith in the herbal remedies which he was treating him with.

Moorheads get five years
Thu, 13th June 2002
The Northland couple found guilty of the manslaughter of their baby son have been jailed for five years each (by a High Court jury in Auckland, New Zealand)
Deborah and Jan Moorhead were convicted of causing the death of eight-month-old Caleb by failing to provide the necessaries of life.

Better info wanted for vegans
There are calls for better nutritional information for vegans, in the wake of the Moorhead manslaughter trial.
Jan and Deborah Moorhead have started five-year prison sentences for the manslaughter of their infant son.

Six-month-old Caleb Moorhead died from a vitamin B12 deficiency, caused by his mother's strict vegan diet which was free of meat, dairy products and fish.
He was being breastfed.
His parents refused to seek medical help for the problem.
Vegan Society Coordinator Sandra Murray says veganism is growing and people need to know the facts. She would like to see a pamphlet produced about veganism, particularly aimed at pregnant women and mothers.


6 week old Atlanta baby dies of starvation in 2004 - the parents convicted of murder

The New York Times
Nina Planck
May 21, 2007

WHEN Crown Shakur died of starvation, he was 6 weeks old and weighed 3.5 pounds. His vegan parents, who fed him mainly soy milk and apple juice, were convicted in Atlanta recently of murder, involuntary manslaughter and cruelty.
This particular calamity — at least the third such conviction of vegan parents in four years — may be largely due to ignorance. But it should prompt frank discussion about nutrition.
I was once a vegan. But well before I became pregnant, I concluded that a vegan pregnancy was irresponsible. You cannot create and nourish a robust baby merely on foods from plants.
Indigenous cuisines offer clues about what humans, naturally omnivorous, need to survive, reproduce and grow: traditional vegetarian diets, as in India, invariably include dairy and eggs for complete protein, essential fats and vitamins. There are no vegan societies for a simple reason: a vegan diet is not adequate in the long run.

Protein deficiency is one danger of a vegan diet for babies. Nutritionists used to speak of proteins as "first class" (from meat, fish, eggs and milk) and "second class" (from plants), but today this is considered denigrating to vegetarians.
The fact remains, though, that humans prefer animal proteins and fats to cereals and tubers, because they contain all the essential amino acids needed for life in the right ratio. This is not true of plant proteins, which are inferior in quantity and quality — even soy.
A vegan diet may lack vitamin B12, found only in animal foods; usable vitamins A and D, found in meat, fish, eggs and butter; and necessary minerals like calcium and zinc.
When babies are deprived of all these nutrients, they will suffer from retarded growth, rickets and nerve damage.
Responsible vegan parents know that breast milk is ideal. It contains many necessary components, including cholesterol (which babies use to make nerve cells) and countless immune and growth factors. When breastfeeding isn't possible, soy milk and fruit juice, even in seemingly sufficient quantities, are not safe substitutes for a quality infant formula.

Yet even a breast-fed baby is at risk. Studies show that vegan breast milk lacks enough docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, the omega-3 fat found in fatty fish. It is difficult to overstate the importance of DHA, vital as it is for eye and brain development.

A vegan diet is equally dangerous for weaned babies and toddlers, who need plenty of protein and calcium. Too often, vegans turn to soy, which actually inhibits growth and reduces absorption of protein and minerals. That's why health officials in Britain, Canada and other countries express caution about soy for babies. (Not here, though - perhaps because our farm policy is so soy-friendly.)

Historically, diet honored tradition: we ate the foods that our mothers, and their mothers, ate. Now, your neighbor or sibling may be a meat-eater or vegetarian, may ferment his foods or eat them raw. This fragmentation of the American menu reflects admirable diversity and tolerance, but food is more important than fashion. Though it's not politically correct to say so, all diets are not created equal.
An adult who was well-nourished in utero and in infancy may choose to get by on a vegan diet, but babies are built from protein, calcium, cholesterol and fish oil.
Children fed only plants will not get the precious things they need to live and grow.
Nina Planck is the author of Real Food: What to Eat and Why.

Death By Veganism

Vegan Couple Gets Life in Prison After Baby Dies of Starvation
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
ATLANTA - A vegan couple were sentenced Wednesday to life in prison for the death of their malnourished 6-week-old baby boy, who was fed a diet largely consisting of soy milk and apple juice.
Superior Court Judge L.A. McConnell imposed the mandatory sentences on Jade Sanders, 27, and Lamont Thomas, 31. Their son, Crown Shakur, weighed just 3 1/2 pounds when he died of starvation on April 25, 2004.
The couple were found guilty May 2 of malice murder, felony murder, involuntary manslaughter and cruelty to children. A jury deliberated about seven hours before returning the guilty verdicts.
Defense lawyers said the first-time parents did the best they could while adhering to the lifestyle of vegans, who typically use no animal products. They said Sanders and Thomas did not realize the baby, who was born at home, was in danger until minutes before he died.
But prosecutors said the couple intentionally neglected their child and refused to take him to the doctor even as the baby's body wasted away. ...

Vegan Couple Gets Life in Prison After Baby Dies of Starvation

Last week, Lamont Thomas, 31 and Jade Sanders, 27, were found guilty of malice murder, child cruelty and other charges that related to the death of their son, Crown Shakur.
A jury deliberated for seven hours before bringing back the verdict.
Under a Georgia State Law that requires life in prison for anyone convicted of malice murder, Superior Court Judge L.A. McConnell sentenced the couple to just that today.

Vegan Parents Get Life in Prison for Death of Son
Vegan couple will serve life sentences for starving baby to death, court rules 9-2011


Baby Woyah Was 6 Months Old and Less Than 7 Pounds When She Died in 2003

Oct. 18, 2005
ABC News

A Florida couple accused of starving their baby to death are scheduled to face two of their surviving children in court today.

Joseph Andressohn, 36, and Lamoy Andressohn, 30, are charged with aggravated manslaughter and neglect in the death of their daughter, Woyah, who was 6 months old when she died in May 2003. The Andressohns also face four counts of child neglect stemming from the care of their four surviving children who are living with a relative under state supervision. The Andressohns say Woyah died from a genetic disorder that caused her malnutrition.
Two of the Andressohns surviving children, ages 6 and 8, are scheduled to testify for the prosecution today. The Andressohns had another child after Woyah's death, a girl named Joya, who is now 6 months old and is being cared for by a guardian.

Paramedics found Woyah's lifeless body on the floor of her parents' living room in May 2003 after her parents placed a frantic 911 call. The little girl's body was described as "emaciated" in a medical report, with ribs clearly visible through her stretched skin. An autopsy showed Woyah never learned to sit, stand or lift her head on her own. In the weeks before her death, she had trouble keeping her eyes open, and they would spontaneously roll back into her head.

She weighed less than 7 pounds when she died, just a few ounces more than when she was born and less than half of an average 6-month-old.

Prosecutors say the Andressohns starved Woyah to death by restricting her to a raw food diet, also known as a vegan diet or a "living foods lifestyle," feeding her only wheat grass, coconut water and milk made from almonds.
"Those parents caused their child Woyah to suffer malnutrition so severe that it turned that child into a bag of skin and bones," said assistant Florida state attorney Herbert Walker in court. "Baby Woyah's body was eating itself because it wasn't getting enough nutrients."
The defense will argue the Andressohns had no reason to believe Woyah was developing abnormally since her parents and grandparents are "small" and their first four children were also small until they reached the age of 1.

The Diet

The two main principals of the raw food diet is
  • that humans aren't meant to eat animal products such as meat or dairy, and
  • that cooking diminishes the nutritional value of food. Followers of the diet believe heating food above 118 degrees will kill the enzymes in it, diminishing its nutritional value.

    "For a child that is 6 months old, they don't have any intestinal ability yet to digest raw foods," said Heidi Skolnick, a nutritionist and contributing editor for Men's Health magazine. "Most babies, you don't even introduce solids for four or six months."
    The entire Andressohn family adhered to the diet, although Joseph Andressohn has been known to smoke and eat meat.
    The Andressohns say they were trying to keep their children from becoming "obese." Joseph Andressohn had struggled with a weight problem, and at one time reached 250 pounds. Friends say he was determined to save his children from repeating his mistakes. The Andressohns say they attended conferences, watched educational parenting shows and read books before deciding to put their children on the diet. It has also been reported the family's diet may have been connected to their religion, known as "Hebrew Israelite" which promotes raw food and natural eating.

    The Florida Supreme Court has ruled parents have the right to raise their children according to their spiritual beliefs, but have held that religion may not be used as a defense in cases of abuse and neglect of medical treatment for a child.
    Woyah had no medical records and the couple told police they did not believe in traditional medical care. They said they avoided doctors except in extreme circumstances, administering wheatgrass enemas to cure their children's sickness.
    None of the Andressohn children received immunizations, none has ever been to a doctor and all were born at home.
    The defense insists Woyah did not die from starvation, but of a genetic disorder that caused her malnutrition.
    "It didn't make a difference what the diet was for the child was who died because she was doomed because of these congenital defects," said the Andressohn's attorney, Rubin Ellis.

    The prosecution will present its case today, and two of the Andressohn children are expected to testify on a closed circuit TV because prosecutors say they are too afraid and traumatized to be in the same room with their parents.
    At the time of Woyah's death, all of her siblings were found to be below average height and weight for their age and at least one showed signs of rickets, a bone deficiency caused by a lack of vitamin D. The children told court psychologists they were given forced enemas and beaten with a belt for violating the diet.
    The defense says the children have been "brainwashed." "When she was first interviewed 28 months ago, there were no such allegations," Ellis said of one of the children. "Gradually they changed their testimony. Little children can be brainwashed, of course.
    "The child died because of a congenital defect which, when the child swallowed, the fluid came back up the esophagus," Ellis said. "This child inhaled some of that … some of the food particles went into the lungs and caused pneumonia and the child died."

    The trial is expected to wrap up within the next two weeks. If convicted on all charges, the Andressohns could face more than 17 years each in prison.

    Aggravated Manslaughter
    MIAMI - A vegan couple who kept their five children on a strict raw-foods diet was cleared of aggravated manslaughter Monday for the death of their 6-month-old baby, but convicted of four counts of child neglect.
    A Miami jury rendered their verdict after less than 90 minutes of deliberation in the trial of Joseph and Lamoy Andressohn, who were accused of feeding their children an inadequate diet of raw fruits and vegetables in spite of signs that they appeared malnourished and underweight.
    The four counts of neglect relate to the Andressohns' oldest surviving children, ages 4 to 9, who on average weighed less than 97 percent of other children their ages, according to prosecution testimony, when 6-month-old baby Woyah died on May 15, 2003. The infant weighed less than 7 pounds and was 22 inches long when she died, less than half the average for children her age, according to prosecution medical experts.
    The pair still face up to 20 years in prison on the four counts of child neglect when they are sentenced Dec. 15, but could receive as little as probation.

    Parents Accused of Starving Infant to Death
    Miami Verdict


    15 month old baby almost dies of starvation - couple sentenced to prison

    Couple Guilty Of Assault In Vegan Case
    April 5, 2003

    A Queens NY couple who fed their baby daughter a strict vegetarian diet, including homemade infant formula, were convicted yesterday of nearly starving her to death.

    A jury in State Supreme Court found the couple, Joseph and Silva Swinton, guilty of first-degree assault and two lesser charges.
    They were immediately taken into custody. Each faces 5 to 25 years in prison.

    The case, described in some headlines as the Vegan Baby Trial, attracted widespread attention beyond the couple's Queens Village neighborhood. Prosecutors said that as exotic and sensational as it sometimes seemed, the facts were plain enough: a diet with no dairy products or infant formula is not adequate for a newborn child, and the parents should have known better.

    ''This community spoke through the jury and indicated that the weakest will be protected,'' said Eric Rosenbaum, the prosecutor. ''The law protects children.''
    The results of the Swintons' care, prosecutors and medical experts said, were disastrous. By the time the authorities intervened when the child was 15 months old, she was toothless, had rickets, broken bones and internal injuries. She was severely malnourished and weighed 10 pounds -- less than half the normal weight for a young toddler.

    The girl, IIce (pronounced ICE), will be 3 in July and has been living in foster care since the authorities took her from her parents in November 2001. Prosecutors said yesterday that IIce was ''now on the growth scale,'' and was physically progressing, but doctors suspect that she has neurological damage.

    Lawyers for the Swintons said they would appeal the verdict, noting that the first-degree assault charge included a finding that an offender had depraved intentions. Part of the Swintons' defense had been that they were not knowledgeable enough about child nutrition and did not realize that they were endangering their child until hospital workers told them that IIce was sick.
    ''I don't see justice here,'' said Christopher Shella, a lawyer for Mrs. Swinton. ''That they made the wrong choice doesn't make it depraved, given how much they cared about their child.''

    Mrs. Swinton, who is 32, gave birth to IIce at her home three months prematurely. They never received prenatal or postnatal care. In an interview yesterday as she waited for the verdict, Mrs. Swinton said she had been a wayward, 300-pound young adult when she decided to adopt the vegan diet. She and her husband of seven years, who is also 32, have been on it for several years.

    Mrs. Swinton said she chose not to breast-feed IIce. After trying to feed her different kinds of commercial baby formula for several months, the couple decided to put her on a natural foods diet. Examining the label on commercial baby formula cans, Mrs. Swinton said she tried to replicate the chemical composition with natural ingredients, including ground nuts and puréed fruits and vegetables.

    ''We were brand-new parents trying to do everything we could for her,'' Mrs. Swinton said yesterday. She was rueful, noting that she had ''never even got a speeding ticket'' and now faced prison.

    Amy Lanou, the nutrition director for the Washington-based Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, testified during the three-week trial that both vegan and vegetarian diets would allow breast milk, and barring that, soy-based baby formula. Mr. Rosenbaum, the prosecutor, said the care given to IIce was akin to what a child might offer to a ''pet gerbil.'' He said that no matter what the parents' intentions, their failure to seek any type of medical care as IIce's condition worsened merited the criminal charges. In addition to assault, the parents were convicted of first-degree reckless endangerment and endangering the welfare of a child. They will be sentenced on May 16.

    Members of several black advocacy groups attended most of the trial and after the verdict, some said that from the start, the mostly white jury was against the Swintons, who are black. The jurors, who deliberated for two days, had been sequestered since Wednesday morning, prompting Judge Richard L. Buchter to remind them as they were dismissed that ''there's a war going on, and it's people like you serving in this system that is what America is all about.''

    The verdict shocked the Swintons' relatives and friends, many of whom sat through day after day of often highly complex medical testimony regarding the ability of the human body to process certain chemicals. Some relatives, though, had testified for the prosecution, confirming that the Swintons were IIce's sole caregivers and had complete responsibility for her feedings.
    Mr. Swinton's lawyer, Ronna Gordon-Galchus, said she believed that the nine women and three men on the jury were emotionally swayed by the disturbing testimony of the child's medical condition and that the Swintons' intentions should have played a larger role in the verdict.

    ''Everything they did for their child, they believed was in her best interest,'' Ms. Gordon-Galchus said.
    The parents were arrested six months after the baby was removed from their home. Mrs. Swinton was able to post bail, but Mr. Swinton has been in Rikers Island since his arrest. She gave birth to a second child, a boy, named InI (pronounced I-en-I), last July. She said she hid him from the authorities for 15 days and was now limited to regular visits with him. He is also in foster care.
    As she was led from the courtroom after being taken into custody, Mrs. Swinton called out to her mother, ''Tell IIce and InI that I love them.''

    Couple Guilty Of Assault In Vegan Case
    Reduced Sentence 11-06


    Toddler dies from malnutrition caused by radical Christian parents’ faith-based vegan diet

    19 Dec 2014 - Calgary, Canada

    A couple in Calgary, Canada are facing charges after their 14-month old son died from a treatable infection in November, 2013. Prosecutors say that the child’s death was preventable and that has body had been severely weakened by the family’s strict, vegan diet.
    According to CTV News Calgary, at the time of his death, toddler John Clark had never seen a doctor in his life nor received any form of pre- or post-natal care. The boy was born at home and perished of a staph infection two months after his only birthday.

    Parents Jeromie Clark, 31, and Jennifer Clark, 34, are Seventh Day Adventists who practiced a strict vegan diet and shunned traditional medical interventions in favor of prayer.
    John Clark was admitted Foothills Hospital in Calgary on November 28, 2013 when a family member urged the parents to seek medical attention for the child. The next day he was transferred to Alberta Children’s Hospital where he died of a systemic staph infection complicated by malnutrition.

    Calgary Police Service Staff Sgt. Doug Andrus said, We believe that the family followed a strict dietary regimen based on their beliefs” and conspired to conceal the baby’s failing health from outsiders.

    The couple’s two older children have been removed from the home. Jeromie and Jennifer Clark face charges of criminal negligence causing death and failure to provide the necessities of life.
    Discovery News said, The Seventh Day Adventist Church is known for promoting a healthy lifestyle among its members, including not smoking, avoiding ‘unclean’ food products mentioned in Leviticus (such as pork) and vegetarianism. The church does not officially endorse veganism, though according to an article in the Calgary Sun, ‘more than 60 percent of Adventists are vegetarian.
    Discovery noted that there has been a spike in the number of babies dying of malnutrition due to their parents’ imposition of a vegan or vegetarian diet which doesn’t meet all of a rapidly growing baby’s nutritional needs.
    According to the New York Times, “A vegan diet is dangerous for weaned babies and toddlers, who need plenty of protein and calcium. Too often, vegans turn to soy, which actually inhibits growth and reduces absorption of protein and minerals. That’s why health officials in Britain, Canada and other countries express caution about soy for babies.

    The family’s former pastor, Randy Barber of Central Seventh Day Adventist Church in northwest Calgary said that the Clark family left his congregation eight years ago. Jeromie Clark, said Barber, had become “very radical” and “very controlling of his wife” before ceasing attendance at the church.
    He’s quite thin and always has a very stern look on his face, said Pastor Barber of Jeromie Clark. I’ve never seen him smile.

    Jennifer and Jeromie Clark are charged with criminal negligence causing death and failure to provide the necessities of life.


    Baby dies of rickets from vegetarian mother

    Couple told they could face jail after admitting manslaughter of their son Ndingeko, who died from rickets after his parents insisted on strict eating regime as part of their religion.

    27 Jan 2014

    A five-month-old baby has died from rickets after his parents insisted on following a strict eating regime as part of their religion.
    Nkosiyapha Kunene, 36, and his wife Virginia, 32, were told at the Old Bailey on Monday that they could face jail after admitting the manslaughter of their son Ndingeko.
    Acute rickets, from which Ndingeko died on June 14, 2012, sees the bones soften because of a deficiency of vitamin D, phosphorus or calcium. The case comes after health professionals raised concerns that the Victorian disease is returning to Britain as a result of poor diets and children not being exposed to sufficient sunshine.
    It is believed Ndingeko’s parents belong to the Seventh-day Adventist Church, whose members follow a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet – one that allows milk and eggs, but not animal flesh. Richard Whittam QC, prosecuting, described five-month-old Ndingeko’s death from rickets as tragic.

    Ndingeko’s parents were born in Zimbabwe, although Mrs Kunene is now a British citizen. They were arrested soon after his death and later charged with manslaughter and cruelty to a child between Jan 1, 2012 and June 15, 2012. The pair both deny cruelty, but have admitted manslaughter. Mrs Kunene pleaded guilty at a hearing on Jan 14 and Mr Kunene entered a guilty plea during Monday’s hearing. Mr Whittam said the Crown accepted their pleas and saw no need for a trial on the child cruelty counts.
    At a previous hearing Mr Whittam, who will open the case at the sentencing hearing on February 28, said: This is clearly a tragic case. Because of the diet [Virginia Kunene] adhered to, the child became unwell. There may have been insufficient support about the health of the child but there were warnings from the family.There came a time when it was obvious her son required medical assistance and there was a real possibility of death.

    The childhood disease was endemic in the growing cities of 19th century Britain because of a lack of access to sunlight and poor diets. But by the 1950s it had been wiped out thanks to Vitamin D being added to everyday foods such as margarine and cereal. Until recently even specialist doctors had struggled to spot the disease.

    In 2012 the parents of four-month-old Wray were initially charged with his death before doctors realised he had probably died from rickets. Before Jayden there had been only one death in 30 years. Yet in 2012 about 900 cases were diagnosed in hospitals in England.
    Nutritionists say the return of rickets is largely due to a generation of inactive children not getting enough sunlight. Brian Wharton, of the Institute of Child Health, said a rise in unusual diets that provide little vitamin D and calcium were also to blame.

    Rickets can lead to bone pain, poor growth and deformities of the skeleton, such as bowed legs, curvature of the spine and thickening of the ankles, wrists and knees. The condition is still a major problem in third-world countries, where it is caused by a shortage of calcium.
    Mr and Mrs Kunene, of Erith, south-east London, were told by the judge, Mr Justice Singh, on Monday that he was “considering all [sentencing] options”. The defendants were released on bail before sentencing next month.

    Jennifer and Jeromie Clark are charged with criminal negligence causing death and failure to provide the necessities of life.


    Vegan mom tells how cops barged into her home to take her underweight baby son into care for FIVE MONTHS in clash over soy diet.

    17 November 2014 - Florida

    Sarah Markham, from Florida, lost her son Caleb 12 days after he was born
    He had lost 10 percent of his body weight and was previously dehydrated
    Doctor had told her to take Caleb to hospital because he was underweight
    But Markham decided to try supplementing her breast milk with a vegan formula

    A vegan mom whose newborn son was taken into care for five months after she refused to take him to hospital for weight treatment has revealed the moment he was taken away by cops.

    Sarah Markham, from Florida, was finally allowed to care for her son Caleb last week following a judge's orders, although she still faces child neglect charges.
    Caleb was taken into care in June when, instead of following a doctor's orders to take him to an emergency room, Markham decided to try supplementing her breast milk with a vegan formula. 'As a new mom you have this wonderful joy when you are pregnant, you want to meet the the little person inside for the first time and you want them to see you as the protector, you are mommy,' she said.

    Last week the judge decided that Markham was not an unfit mother and said she could have him back if she promises to meet with a nutritionist.
    Markham, who has a degree in health science, agreed to visit a nutritionist but said her son, who had lost 10 per cent of his body weight, is still on a soy formula. 'He's still on a soy formula – he's been on it, he likes it, he's doing well. He's growing healthy, and I can't ask for anything more,' Markham said.
    'There's no case, there's no abuse, there's no neglect, there's simply a doctor who has been challenged by a mother and he didn't like it,' grandfather Bo Markham told WFTV.

    Caleb now weighs 17 pounds and has been taken care of by his grandparents who believe their daughter is a fit mother.
    Last Wednesday's case was for the sole purpose of regaining custody but Markham still faces criminal charges that her lawyer is confident a judge will dismiss as well. 'My hope is that they'll simply dismiss it and not go forward on this at all,' Mark O'Mara said.

    Markham is a Christian Seventh-day Adventist and holistic healing and a vegan diet is in her system of beliefs.
    Because of her choice not to take her son to the hospital, Markham was only allowed to see her son during supervised visits and only a few times a week, according to Seminole County Child Protective Services.
    'They've kept a child away from a mom,' said attorney Mark O'Mara to WFTV. 'My client can only see her child once a week or twice a week because they're requiring the child be out of the county,' he said prior to Markham regaining custody. O'Mara said that Markham's parenting was 'not even close' to child neglect.

    Markham is a Christian Seventh-day Adventist and holistic healing and a vegan diet, even for her child, is in her system of beliefs. 'It's absurd. It's a mom trying to do the best she can, acting as a vegan which she has the entire right to do taking care of her child,' he said.
    Markham's son is now healthy and she is happy to have him home.
    'She has done everything they've asked her to do: Mental health evaluations, drug evaluations, parenting classes, everything they've asked her to do she's done, and she's done it very well, and yet we have to go to trial on this tomorrow. It's absurd,' said O'Mara before winning the custody battle. Pictured: Markham, her son and the baby's father


    Vegan Italian parents investigated for neglect after baby son found severely malnourished.

    An Italian couple are being investigated for neglect after baby of 11 months was found close to death. The parents said they were not aware of the impact of a vegan diet on their child

    July, 2015

    The vegan parents of an 11-month-old Italian baby are under investigation after their son was rushed to hospital suffering severe malnutrition.
    The couple, who live on the outskirts of the Tuscan city of Pisa, could face charges of abuse over their child, who was taken to Cisanello Hospital in a critical condition. Doctors said the baby was severely malnourished and showed signs of deficiency in vitamin B12, which is found in foods including fish, meat, eggs and milk. He could neither crawl nor sit himself up, said Giovanni Federico, a paediatrician at the hospital.
    The baby's parents, who are in their early thirties, follow a vegan diet and do not eat meat, eggs or dairy products. Mr Federico said the baby's parents had put him on a vegan diet once he began to eat solid foods. "But the little boy refused to eat the vegetables they were giving him," he said. "And so the parents returned to giving him just breastmilk, which is totally inadequate by six months."
    However, on arriving at the hospital, "they [the parents] had realised they'd put the child on the wrong diet and they immediately agreed for him to be given fish and meat." Mr Federico added: "I think we have to wait until he's three or four years old to determine whether he's suffered permanent damage."
    Doctors allege that the mother's diet caused a deficiency of vital vitamins in her breast milk, which she was feeding her son. Following a blood test, he was also found to be lacking in iron and vitamin D.
    A doctor, who did not want to be named, told Corriere della Sera that the parents did not realise the effect of their vegan diet on their son. "They [the parents] have always demonstrated affection for their child," the doctor said. "And the baby was not neglected. "The problem was that they realised too late the effects of choosing a vegan diet without seeking medical advice."
    The prosecutor's office in Pisa and a special court for minors in Florence are investigating the case and must establish whether the baby's malnourishment is connected to the parents' vegan diet and whether he was ever seen by a paediatrician. Doctors said the baby remained in a critical condition but were optimistic for his recovery.
    It comes months after a judge in Bergamo, northern Italy, ordered a vegetarian mother to cook meat for her 12-year-old son after the boy's father – a meat-eater – complained that he was not being fed a proper diet.


    Two-year-old hospitalized after being raised vegan

    A toddler spent several days in intensive care being treated for vitamin deficiencies and other complications, thought to be caused by her parents' vegan diet.

    29 June 2016

    Two-year-old Chiara (not her real name) was brought to the Istituto Giannina Gaslini, a pediatric hospital in Genoa, in a serious condition.
    She was immediately transferred to intensive care after she was found to be suffering from a lack of the vitamin B12, a low level of haemoglobin, slowed movements and poor responsiveness. The toddler also weighed significantly less than the average for her age, according to the local edition of La Repubblica.
    Chiara's health problems are thought to be linked to her vegan diet; her parents have both been vegans for several years and the child was breastfed by her mother before being raised on the same diet, avoiding both meat and products with animal origins. She is also undergoing checks for any genetic diseases which may have contributed to her illness. Fortunately, after several days in intensive care, she is reportedly recovering well and was moved to a convalescence ward.
    Social services have been notified; although the parents are not suspected of mistreatment, restrictive diets can fall into the category of 'neglect'.
    While a vegan diet will not necessarily have a negative impact on a child's health, it may lead to deficiences in vitamin B12, which may cause permanent brain damage and is particularly serious in small children, as well as a lack of zinc, folic acid and iron. Liguria's Association of Pediatrics recommends that parents raising their children as vegans should ensure that regular health checks are carried out by medical professionals, who might prescribe vitamin supplements. In Genoa, parents may request that schools provide children with vegan meals, but only if they provide a medical certificate proving that a doctor is aware of the child's diet.
    This is the third case since the start of 2015 which has seen a young child taken to hospital in serious condition due to their diet.
    Last summer, the vegan parents of an 11-month-year-old baby treated for severe malnutrition at a hospital were investigated by police. The incident came shortly after an Italian court ordered a vegetarian mother to cook meat for her son at least once a week after the boy's father complained that his son wasn't being fed a proper diet.

    Ist. G. Gaslini


    Vegan Parents Lose Custody Over Malnourished Baby

    An Italian baby was removed from his parents after doctors were shocked at his poor state of health and a body weight only just slightly higher than a newborn.

    July, 2016

    Malnourished 14-month-old baby kept on vegan diet removed from Italian parents.

    Villa Vegan in Milano A 14-month-old Italian baby, who was reportedly fed a vegan diet, has been removed from his parents after arriving at a Milan hospital seriously malnourished.
    The baby, whose name has not been released, was taken to hospital by his grandparents a week ago and doctors were shocked to see the poor state of the baby's health and a body weight only just slightly higher than a newborn. Blood tests revealed the child, who was born in May 2015, was severely malnourished with calcium levels barely adequate to survive. The baby was also suffering from a congenital heart condition which required emergency surgery. He is now recovering in hospital.

    "This forces us to reflect on uncommon feeding regimes, even if in this case it was complicated by a cardiac malformation," said Luca Bernardo, director of paediatrics at the hospital that took him in. "It is not a problem to choose different or unusual kinds of nutrition and we certainly do not want to enter into a discussion of the merits of the decision. But since birth, the baby should have had support in this case with calcium and iron."
    The hospital immediately reported the case to police and prosecutors opened an inquiry and ordered the baby to be formally removed from his parents. The baby's future is now in the hands of the children's court which will determine whether his grandparents should have custody.

    It is not the first time that vegan diets have provoked alarm in Italy. Four children have been hospitalised within the last 18 months and a malnourished toddler spent several days in intensive care in a Genoa hospital last month.
    The 2-year-old girl was taken to the Istituto Gaslini, a paediatric hospital in Genoa, in a serious condition and transferred to intensive care with vitamin deficiencies and other medical issues.
    Last year police began an investigation into the parents of an 11-month-old baby who was treated for malnutrition in Tuscany while a Bergamo court ordered a vegetarian mother to cook meat for her son after the boy's father complained about his macrobiotic diet after the parents' divorce.
    Veganism appears to be on the rise in Italy and some media reports estimate around 2.8 per cent of the population now avoid all animal products. - Daily Telegraph UK

    Proof veganism is child abuse


    Pennsylvania mom malnourished baby with vegan diet, police say

    Wednesday October 12, 2016 - The Associated Press

    Mom 'obsessed' with vegan diet malnourished baby: Cops

    FARMINGTON, Pa. — A Pennsylvania woman has been charged with endangering her 11-month-old son by restricting him to a vegan diet of fruits and nuts.
    State police say 30-year-old Elizabeth Hawk, of Farmington, became “obsessed” with the vegan diet, which prompted her estranged husband to contact Fayette County child welfare workers.
    A police complaint says the baby developed a rash “so bad that the child was scratching his skin off.” Hawk allegedly refused to use a cream to treat the rash.
    Online court records don’t list an attorney for Hawk and she doesn’t have a listed phone. She’s been mailed a summons for the child endangerment charge and faces a preliminary hearing Nov. 14.
    Police say doctors determined in August that the baby is developmentally disabled and can’t crawl because he’s malnourished.

    Can you raise a healthy vegan baby?


    Vegan-style Creationism Woo Kills Baby
    "Unfortunately there are vegans who subscribe to what is really a form of creationism, a fictional evolutionary narrative in which humans are a peaceful herbivorous species. Proponents of this often cite "evidence" that is very poor and completely irrelevant, such as our lack of fangs (plenty of herbivores have fangs and many omnivores do not). ...
    A few other woo victims (strict vegetarianism =vegan):

  • A Syndrome of Methylmalonic Aciduria, Homocystinuria, Megaloblastic Anemia and Neurologic Abnormalities in a Vitamin B12-Deficient Breast-Fed Infant of a Strict Vegetarian
  • Severe Vitamin B12 Deficiency in an Infant Associated With a Maternal Deficiency and a Strict Vegetarian Diet
  • Nutritional Vitamin B12 Deficiency in a Breast-fed Infant of a Vegan-diet Mother
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency in a breast fed infant.
  • Brain damage in infancy and dietary vitamin B12 deficiency.
  • Severe nutritional vitamin deficiency in a breast-fed infant of a vegan mother"

    Also see


    Older children damaged by veganism:

    BACK to the case against veganism - 2

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