Bernard Siegel is a public prosecutor and a ‘Florida Bar’ member who graduated from the University of Miami in law. Bernard’s best claim to fame is seeking guardianship of the first human clone titled, “Baby Eve” via a milestone legal case filed in Florida in 2002. The ultimate consequence of this landmark case which generated widespread media as well as public attention was that the credibility of the claim was thoroughly punctuated as no baby ever appeared.
The ugly controversy also led to the coinage of a new expression, ‘cloning’ which became the new byword for political manipulation and horse-trading. Another despicable fallout of the spurious claim was the framing and passing of a law in the House of Representatives that would put any researcher or scientist behind bars if they experimented with human stem cells. Nuclear transfer or therapeutic cloning was overwhelmingly supported by Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford former US presidents as well as by Christopher Reeve, Nancy Reagan, and many celebrated scientists.
However President George Bush put his foot down on nuclear transfer and even coerced United Nations to declare a worldwide ban on stem cell research. Bernie teamed up with Christopher Reeve for arranging a seminar on experimentations related to stem cells right in the UN headquarters in New York City. Prominent decision makers at UN were deluged with over 35,000 faxed messages that eventually culminated in the release of a white paper.
The passage of a draconian treaty that would have blocked research was thus prevented. Spiegel chaired the ‘First International Stem Cell Action’ conference that was held in 2004 in Berkeley, California. Bernie also went on to establish the Genetics Policy Institute in Wellington, Florida which is presently known as ‘Regenerative Medicine Foundation’. He has also pioneered and co-chaired numerous global conventions that include the celebrated World Stem Cell Summit.