CDC Reviews Inspection Policies in Aftermath of A&M Faults

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WASHINGTON -- The U.S. government doesn't pop in unannounced to inspect labs handling the world's most dangerous organisms and poisons.

But that may change.

Federal Center For Disease Control officials say they're reviewing the policy against conducting surprise inspections.

The reason? Inspectors visited a lab at Texas A&M University last year just weeks after a worker was infected, and they didn't catch the problem. A watchdog group exposed the infection and another case involving three other workers.

A CDC official tells a House committee that the agency is looking at ways to improve its inspection program. It's considering changing the composition of inspection teams and increasing the frequency of checks.

Right now, the CDC inspects high-security research labs only once every three years.