Agent White

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Defoliation agent spraying in Vietnam

Agent White is the code name for a herbicide and defoliant used by the U.S. military in its herbicidal warfare program during the Vietnam War. The name comes from the white stripe painted on the barrels to identify the contents. Largely inspired by the British use of herbicides and defoliants during the Malayan Emergency, it was one of the so-called "rainbow herbicides" that included the more infamous Agent Orange.

Agent White is a 4:1 mixture of 2,4-D and picloram. Unlike the more infamous Agent Orange, Agent White did not contain dioxin, which was a contaminant in the defoliants that included 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4,5-T). Agent White was a proprietary product of the Dow Chemical Company. Around 1985, Dow Chemical was forced to re-certify picloram after having greatly reduced the amounts of contaminants.[citation needed]

Agent White was often used when Agent Orange was not available, including for several months after the use of Agent Orange was halted in April 1970. Approximately 5.4 million US gallons (20,000 m3) of Agent White was used in Vietnam between 1966 and 1971.[1] In addition the US Military tested Agent White, Tordon 101 and picloram in varying concentrations at test sites in the US and Puerto Rico in the 1960s.[2]

Under the brand name Tordon 101, Dow AgroSciences has commercialized a similar product containing a mixture of 2,4-D and picloram.[3][4][5][6]


  • Durkin, Patrick R. (June 2003). "Picloram Revised Human Health and Ecological Risk Assessment". USDA, Forest Service. 
  • "Agent White". Project Censored. 1982. Retrieved 2011-03-10.