Kanye West has talked a big game about running for president, but it’s his sister-in-law Kourtney Kardashian who is participating in the American legislative process.
On Tuesday, she will participate in a briefing on regulatory reform of the cosmetics industry, along with Representative Frank Pallone of New Jersey, the top Democrat on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and members of the nonprofit Environmental Working Group. After the briefing, they will take questions from congressional staff members.
“For too long, cosmetics companies have not had any requirement to verify the safety of their cosmetic and personal care products,” Representative Pallone said. “This simply cannot continue and I’m pleased that Kourtney is here today to lend her voice to those supporting cosmetics reform.”
A significant portion of the Kardashian empire rests on the cosmetics industry. Kim Kardashian West and her sister Kylie Jenner helm namesake beauty lines, KKW Beauty and Kylie Cosmetics. Kourtney Kardashian’s appearance on Capitol Hill coincides with the release Tuesday of a collaboration between her and Ms. Jenner, to be released through Kylie Cosmetics. In 2017, Women’s Wear Daily reported that the company had sold $420 million worth of cosmetics within its first 18 months.
n recent years, Ms. Kardashian, who was invited to the briefing as a guest of the Environmental Working Group, has promoted herself as the most environmentally conscious member of her family, and has often spoken of her aversion to inorganic and genetically modified products.
Mr. Pallone in 2016 introduced a proposal calling for tougher regulation of the cosmetics industry. But the proposal took a back seat to other priorities during the last session of Congress.
Attempts to reach a spokeswoman for Ms. Kardashian went unreturned, but C.J. Young, a spokesman for the committee, said that he expected her to speak about “the importance of ensuring cosmetics are safe.”
“We need to empower FDA to more safely regulate cosmetics products,” Mr. Young said, adding that the rules governing the industry had not been updated in 80 years.
The Food and Drug Administration informed Congress last year that it frequently finds contamination, illegal ingredients and other issues in imported cosmetics, and that many products contained illegal color additives and microbial contamination. The agency said that it had “limited resources to examine imported cosmetics.”
Issues have been found with homegrown products as well. Last month, the nonprofit U.S. Public Interest Research Group found that three cosmetic products sold by the retailer Claire’s contained “high levels of asbestos.” Claire’s, whose products are marketed to children and teenagers, denied the legitimacy of the test results and said that laboratory’s methods were “unreliable.”
Scott Faber, the Environmental Working Group’s vice president for government affairs, said that the issue had been granted new urgency by the report about Claire’s, and also cited a New York Times story about a hair care line whose customers experienced hair loss.
Mr. Faber said that it was “incredibly helpful” to have Kourtney Kardashian lend “her star appeal” to the issue. (He said that the simultaneous release of the Kylie Cosmetics line on Tuesday was “purely coincidental.”)
“Even under the best of circumstances its hard to pass bipartisan legislation that is supported by industry and public health groups and her voice will help get this legislation across the finish line,” he said.
The briefing will be closed to the press.