By 1937, the Consumer-Farmer Milk Cooperative had a prosperous partnership with the Dairy Farmers Union. Sadly, in November of 1938, Parodneck suddenly found himself alone at the helm. His cooperative partner and dear friend, Dr. Caroline Whitney died suddenly at age 37. The Co-op, however, moved ahead without delay by first attacking the milk classification standards that had been in place since 1911. By 1928, only Grade A ("produced under exceptionally sanitary conditions") and Grade B ("good clean [pasteurized] milk") were permitted for sale in New York.25 Under the current system, farmers were at the mercy of distributors: Borden's and Sheffield, who dealt with fluid and solid dairy paid a "blended price" of A and B grades. Farmers could receive a reasonable return for Grade A milk, but for Grade B milk they received little to nothing. Rates of high production due to technological advances in agriculture and refrigeration, however, created a surplus of quality goods and created a market where excess Grade A could be purchased and processed as Grade B. The greater the surplus, the less any milk was worth.
Farmers who were members in large cooperatives had the advantage of collective bargaining and even distribution of losses. But for independent farmers, the burden of a low price was unbearable. Parodneck argued alongside the Consumers Union, the United Neighborhood Houses, the Community Councils, and the American Labor Party. They all agreed that Grade A and B milk were equally nutritious and that the differences in price were an unnecessary cost to the consumer.26 The first edition of Consumers Union Reports, a publication widely circulated to this day, had already reported on the negligible difference in 1936 by publishing their test results on Borden's and Sheffield milk. After examining bacteria levels, butterfat content, and milk solids, they concluded that, "In no case should a consumer, particularly one who cannot afford the extra cost of Grade A milk, accept the word of the milk companies that Grade A is significantly better than Grade B." The only difference the Consumer's Union found? "Three cents a quart in price."27
In a January 13, 1940 broadcast, New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia also supported the undeniable evidence that the difference between milk Grades was irrelevant to the consumer. He released a statement to New Yorkers asking: "Does anyone in New York City…believe that if Grade B was not wholesome, good, nutritious milk, the Health Dept. of the City would permit it to be sold…? Of course not." Borden's and Sheffield, fearing the loss of their premium Grade A prices,released marketing campaigns that attempted to turn consumers against a one-grade system. Advertisements suggested suggested that the abolishment of grading would cause all prices of milk to needlessly jump. LaGuardia accused them of broadcasting lies, assuring the public, "That is not so, and as long as I am Mayor of this City, I will not permit such attempted profiteering."28