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US professionals from the Physicians Committee, a non-profit organization with more than 12,000 doctors, have slammed Belgian doctors – who argued parents raising their children vegan should be prosecuted – for an ‘erroneous and misleading’ report.
The Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium published a legal opinion arguing that veganism is ‘unsuitable for unborn children, children, teenagers, and pregnant and lactating women’ – stating it’s ‘not ethical to impose on children’.
The Physicians Committee have responded and claim the report isn’t based on scientific evidence. It also criticized the statement which suggested vegans are likely to be deficient in certain nutrients such as protein, iron, and calcium.
According to PCRM, Susan Levin, M.S., R.D. said the ‘misinformation could end up discouraging people’ from adopting a plant-based diet ‘to improve their health’.
Levin continued: “Studies show that those eating vegan diets get more than enough protein, calcium, iron, and other nutrients. At the same time, just three percent of young Flemish adults are meeting daily recommendations for vegetables.
“Belgians across all age groups also fall short on fiber—an important nutrient found only in plants that can help control weight, lower cholesterol, and even prevent cancer. Health authorities should be encouraging more plant-based foods—not less.”
The Committee’s response also cited the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ (AND) report on vegetarian and vegan diets, which supports a plant-based diet ‘at all stages of the life cycle’.
Denying children a ‘healthier path’
“It is clear that children in Europe, America, and the world over are at increasingly high risk of health problems related to a diet heavy in meat and dairy products,” says Physicians Committee president Neal Barnard, M.D. “To deny children a healthier path is indefensible.”