How practical is it?
Cloned animals are very expensive. The average clone costs around $20,000. Therefore, even when an animal is cloned for its meat, the cloned animals themselves will never be eaten, it's their offspring that ranchers are after. So it's unlikely that you'll be eating identical twin rib eyes anytime soon. Cloned animals are used for breeding purposes only, and are likely to remain that way for the foreseeable future. Ultimately, it's just a high-tech way of trying to get a better animal, similar to the way people breed prize racehorses in the hopes that their offspring
The bottom line: Although the thought may be unsettling to some, from the science we've explored there seems to be no apparent risk from this question, there shouldn't be any risk to consumers from this practice. The FDA seemed to find no danger in its use either, though some recent shortcomings and rumors of corporate influence leave many quick to distrust the FDA. However, to put things in perspective, we've been eating genetically modified food crops for decades now, and most of us have yet to grow a third eyebrow. (Most of us.) Genetically modified crops, at least theoretically, actually have the potential to be far more dangerous than cloned meat, because in crop supplies we're actually tinkering with the genetic code to create entirely new strains of plants. Cloned meat still contains material that was originally derived naturally. Scientists are merely taking the prize animals and duplicating what nature originally did on its own.
The More Legitimate Risks Are Not About Safety, But About the Environment
There is one legitimate risk in cloning animals for meat or milk production, not having to do with your eating a clone, but with the risk of eliminating genetic diversity in livestock herds. Some scientists fear that if too many clones produce too many offspring animals, the genetic similarities will leave the entire herd at risk of being wiped out by disease. Diversity seems to be nature's hedge against extinction. Cloning too many animals could erase nature’s hard work over the millennia to ensure that a cow’s family tree has lots of branches. In the event of some super-virus wreaking havoc on the population, genetic diversity usually ensures at least a portion of the population has the strength to fight it off or even carries biological immunity. By engineering all animals to be virtually identical, we could put cattle populations at risk in the event that some nasty bug comes along.
There are also some reasonable concern about the potential for genetically modified animals getting loose an d becoming an invasive species that crowd out native ones. For example, this concern has been expressed about genetically modified salmon, with environmentalissts fearing that GN salmon from fish farms could somehow escape into the ocean and threaten native salmon species.