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Vegan couple charged after replacing five-month-old son's baby formula with mashed potatoes

A couple in Florida has been charged when their baby almost died after allegedly being fed a homemade "vegan formula".

Julia French, 20, and Robert Buskey, 31, who are vegan, replaced their five-month-old son's organic baby formula, prescribed by a doctor, with a recipe made from mashed potatoes, Nine News reports.

The baby boy, who weighed 3.4kgs when he was born, weighed just 3.8kgs when he was taken into custody, court documents revealed.

He was visibly malnourished, with protruding ribs and sunken eyes, the Florida Department of Children and Families said.

"I've never seen a child this close to possible death," Titusville Police Department detective Lauren Watson said.

The boy is now in foster care and has gained half a pound on fluids alone since Wednesday.

Robert Buskey, 31, and Julia French, 20. Source: Brevard County Sheriff's Office