Gennadiy N. Lepeshkin: One story that was put out was the one about the meat. It was the first one that was mentioned that, basically, was accepted, that version. But gradually it receded. Of course, meat is a source of infection. It's easy to understand how diseased animals could have ended up on the consumer's dinner table, and someone then ate them and fell ill, got infected. But for it to happen on such a scale would be highly unlikely.
Gary Crocker: I don't remember exactly the context, but at some point it... they admit... they, the Soviet authorities, admit to us in our negotiations, after we'd been to all of these facilities (but not Sverdlovsk), they admit there was a release of anthrax spores from Sverdlovsk. That subject is gone, I mean the tainted meat, this story is out the window. They'd already admitted that. Is that true? I mean that's what I'm sure I remember.
Lepeshkin: In my view, it was clear from the get-go that that's what had happened, but the government had to save face, and that's why Burgasov appeared on the scene, you know, an official, who promoted the meat version of events. That was his assignment. A tragic accident occurred, there was a leak. But to cover up that it was related to the work going on at the plant, this meat theory was devised. And as to whether or not it actually took place, I am not in a position to say. Maybe there really was some quantity of [tainted] meat that did find its way [to consumers], but it would not have had the effect that it did.