Shenzhen health authorities yesterday rejected a Malaysian report that consumption of the city's supplies of starfruit was 'life-threatening'. Malaysian media reported yesterday that a 66-year-old Malaysian, Tang Gon Seang, was among more than a dozen people in comas after eating starfruit in Shenzhen. The report cited a high-level official from the Malaysian Public Complaints and Services Department as warning other Malaysians in Shenzhen not to eat starfruit in the city. But the official said it was safe to eat Malaysian starfruit. He Yongcheng , a specialist from the Shenzhen No2 People's Hospital's renal department, denied that Shenzhen's supplies were toxic, saying kidney patients such as Mr Tang should always avoid starfruit. Dr He said starfruit could trigger serious life-threatening reactions for those with impaired kidney function, and a toxic reaction occurred only when some degree of kidney failure already existed. 'Weakened kidneys can be damaged if high levels of oxalic acid and neurotoxin accumulate in the organ,' he said. The Shenzhen hospital rejected suggestions that more than 10 people in the hospital had also fallen into comas after eating the fruit. A spokeswoman said the last case was two years ago, and it was safe for healthy people to consume the fruit. The report said Mr Tang suffered from renal failure, high blood pressure and respiratory problems.