During the Vietnam War, an herbicide nicknamed "Agent Orange" was routinely sprayed around American camps. The resulting defoliation was fast and effective in clearing vegetation that the enemy could have hidden in.
After the war, the patent rights for Agent Orange's "2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid" was sold to a company that would be called Scott's, and a retail lawn care industry was born.
In the years that followed, a number of serious health problems were being noticed in alarming numbers of Vietnam veterans, but no one had yet made a connection. Like cigarettes, it was a "chronic toxicity" that takes a long time to manifest.
Meanwhile, "2,4-D", as it is commonly known, became the lawn care industry's leading broadleaf weed control, and to this day is the active ingredient in all the Weed-and-Feed's you might buy, not to mention most of the selective liquid weed controls you know best (Weed-B-Gon's, Gordon's/Trimec, Weedone's, etc, etc ).
This may seem hard to believe, but understand that the U.S. Veterans Administration has spent decades denying direct links between veterans' health problems and 2,4-D. There's a lot at stake in massive (class-action) civil lawsuits. So it would be incongruous for that same government to ban it!
Since the day we started the company in 1991, Natural Choice Lawn & Tree Care, LLC has always had the policy of NOT USING 2,4-D. Aside from the obvious reasons, as bad as it might be for us, it's much harder on dogs, whose bodies have a terrible time detoxifying it.
So why do most companies still use 2,4-D? It's easy to guess: cost. 2,4-D has always been cheap to use, whereas the safer broadleaf weed controls we use cost about three times more per ounce to buy.