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Vegan parents accused of almost starving baby to death with potato formula

Courier Mail 2019-02-18 03:31:00

A baby boy allegedly nearly starved to death after his vegan parents switched his doctor-prescribed formula to a mashed potato-based meal they found online.

Julia French, 20, and Robert Buskey, 31, of Florida, have been charged with child neglect after investigators found the infant weighed just under 4kg, after being recorded at birth at 3.5kg, according to WFTV news.

The five-month-old baby is in hospital, and his parents are in the Brevard County Jail.

media_cameraVegan parents Robert Buskey, 31, and Julia French, 20, are charged with allegedly nearly starving their five-month old baby. Picture: WFTV media_cameraThe couple are also said to follow Nazarite Hebrew religious principles.

Authorities in Florida claim the child was “frighteningly gaunt and thirsty”.

According to the WFTV, an investigator said the baby was clearly malnourished with his ribs visible and sunken eyes — the infant was also so lethargic he had trouble maintaining temperature and sugar due to dehydration and malnourishment.

“At one point, when the child was doing good and healthy and gaining weight, he was on an organic formula and they changed it on their own,” Titusville Police Detective Lauren Watson told WFTV.

media_cameraFrench considers herself to be Buskey’s concubine. It’s not understood why they stopped using vegan formula prescribed by their doctor, which they could afford.

“I’ve never seen a child to this level, this close to possible death.”

The self-described vegans, who also follow Nazarite Hebrew religious principles, couldn’t explain why they stopped using the organic formula which was reportedly prescribed to fit in with their vegan lifestyle.

Since Wednesday, the boy, who is now in foster care, has gained about 0.22 grams.

Last year, The Daily Telegraph and Storyful did an investigation into the “worrying” trend of putting kids on vegan diets — some as young as six months.

It followed a case involving Sydney parents who had their three children taken away from them after police found their 20-month-old girl was severely malnourished and suffering from rickets.

Originally published as Vegan parents nearly ‘starved’ bub

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