More than a decade after scientists cloned the first animal, the US government has decided that meat and milk from clones is safe to eat. Consumer anxiety about cloning is serious enough that several major food companies, including the big dairy producers Dean Foods Co. and Smithfield Foods Inc., say they are not planning to sell products from cloned animals. Also, the industry says most Americans would never eat a cloned animal for sheer economic reasons: At $10,000 to $20,000 per cloned cow - compared with $1,000 for an ordinary steer - they are too valuable. They would be used primarily for breeding, to produce a steady supply of cattle that are particularly tender, for instance, or for prize dairy cows. It would be offspring of clones that consumers would eat.