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France

Vegan couple in French court over baby death

Welleschik

Two vegans who fed their 11-month-old daughter only mother's milk go on trial in northern France Tuesday after the child died suffering from a vitamin deficiency. The parent's diet forbids the consumption of any animal products including eggs and cow's milk. 

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Sergine and Joel Le Moaligou called the emergency services in March 2008 after they became concerned about their baby Louise's listlessness. When the ambulance arrived the child was already dead and the police were called because she weighed just 5.7 kilos compared to an average 8 kilos for her age.

An autopsy showed the baby was suffering from a vitamin A and B12 deficiency which experts say increases a child's sensitivity to infection.

The mother's lawyer, Stéphane Daquo, says the couple also have a 13-year-old daughter who does not suffer from vitamin deficiencies.

"The couple did not follow the doctor's advice to hospitalise the baby who was suffering from bronchitis and was losing weight when they went for the nine-month check-up," she says.

She added the parents were people who read the wrong thing at the wrong time and they are compeletely aware of the mistake they made.

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

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